Ryan Searle and Robbie King will go head-to-head at the World Championship.

Last time in our World Championship round one preview round-up, we checked out Vincent van der Voort versus Keane Barry. This time out, we’re looking at a star of last year’s tournament, and a debutant. The full tournament schedule can be found by following this link.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 12:30, December 17

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 64, UK Open & Players Championship Finals (Searle); N/A (King)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Searle 1, King 0

Best PDC World Championship performance: Last 16, 2019 (Searle), N/A (King)

Preview

Ryan Searle is back at the World Championship, a year on from a rather spectacular debut. The hirsute thrower brushed off Stephen Burton, before stunning Mensur Suljovic and William O’Connor. Michael Smith may have ended his campaign at the Last 16 stage, but it was still Searle’s best major showing.

He hasn’t had a spectacular season, his form dropping off sharply after a few decent runs on the floor. Most recently, we saw Searle in the barmstormer at the Players Championship Finals, where he somehow failed to beat Danny Noppert having led 5-2.

We haven’t seen all too much of Robbie King at all. The Gold Coast-born player has made one appearance in front of the cameras. Back in August at the Melbourne Darts Masters, King lost 6-2 against Rob Cross and averaged just 77. But his performance in Australia has earned him a World Championship berth. Many of his compatriots have succeeded at the Ally Pally; can King join them?

Whoever wins here will meet Steve West in round two.

Prediction

Searle will rightly feel like the favourite here. When it comes to the bright lights of the World Championship, experience counts for a lot. That being said, King shouldn’t be written off completely. On balance of last year’s showing at least, we’ll say Ryan Searle 3-0 Robbie King.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC.

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Author: Ed McCosh