Opposites attract for game number six of the 2020 PDC World Championship first round.

Luke Woodhouse and Paul Lim feature in the latest of of 32 match previews for the World Championship first round ties.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 14:30, December 14

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 32, Players Championship Finals, UK Open (Woodhouse); N/A (Lim)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Woodhouse 0, Lim 11

Best PDC World Championship performance: N/A (Woodhouse), Last 16, 2001 (Lim)

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Preview

When Paul Lim struck that famous nine-darter, the one that secures his darting immortality, Luke Woodhouse hadn’t yet turned two.

The Englishman and his Singaporean counterpart are from different eras, but come together for their first meeting at the Ally Pally. As far as warm-ups go, the Players Championship Finals was an excellent one for Woodhouse. In fact, the £5,000 windfall has brought him here. A nerveless win over defending champion Daryl Gurney is a career highlight – which winning on debut in London might top. It looks like the 31-year-old has now saved his Tour Card; a win here will seal the deal.

One really interesting stat rustled up by PDC number-cruncher Christopher Kempf is that Woodhouse has struck eight 161-170 finishes this season, including an unrivalled tally of four 167s. Basically, if he’s on 264 and puts in two single 20s, he’ll be going down the board.

He might have *only* been at the PDC World Championship 11 times (that’s less than the likes of Beaton, Wade and van Gerwen), but it doesn’t feel like the Worlds without a bit of Limmy. That’s the pet name for Paul Lim, rather than the Scottish comedian. The Singapore Slinger was last spotted in the western Hemisphere dumping third seed Wales out of the World Cup of Darts alongside namesake Harith.

Back in Asia, the 65-year-old has once again excelled in the PDC Asian Tour. While not as dominant as Asada and Ilagan, Lim snapped up over $10,000 to finish third in the Order of Merit. And so, he’s back to ghost-throw in the background of darts matches near you. Can he match the glorious mini-run of 2018, where he stunned Mark Webster and almost threw a nine-darter against Gary Anderson? Only time will tell.

Whoever wins this one has the chance to send 2019 World Championship finalist Michael Smith packing.

Prediction

The real question is, how much does experience count? If a lot, Lim has this covered. The fact is that he has been much better across the season than Woodhouse, who has gone through long spells without making his mark. And unless your surname is ‘Woodhouse’, you probably want to see Lim taking on Smith, hence a prediction of Woodhouse 1-3 Lim.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh