As the PDC World Championship approaches, we take a look at two more seeded players who will be taking part this year both with potential points to prove.
Last time out, it was Gary Anderson and Daryl Gurney. Now it is Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith with the former, one of the form players in World darts but has a poor record at the World Championship; while Smith will aim to finally get over the line after last year’s final disappointment.
All odds are provided by World Championship sponsors William Hill, and are correct at time at publication.
Previous World Championship appearances: 5
Best PDC major performance: Winner – Grand Slam of Darts 2018, 2019
Walk-on: Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
Odds to win: 5/1
Price comes into this year’s World Championship as one of if not the in-form player in darts at the moment. Victory at the Grand Slam of Darts followed by a final at the Players Championship Finals have thrown ‘The Iceman’ deep into the conversation for the title come January 1st.
There will be questions though of Price, first one being will the booing and whistling still be prevalent at the Alexandra Palace as last year saw him being dumped out by Nathan Aspinall with fans booing ‘The Iceman’ off the Alexandra Palace stage; as well as his previous form in the event.
Best of a third round in his five previous World Championship appearances so he will be hoping to dodge all that and go all the way. He will take on William O’Connor or Marko Kantele and ever since his victory in Wolverhampton, his price has come down on the betting market as a slew of bets were placed and it will now be up to the Welshman to produce on the biggest stage of them all.
Previous World Championship appearances: 8
Best PDC major performance: Runner-up – PDC World Championship 2019
Walk-on: Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon
Odds to win: 22/1
Smith goes into this year’s World Championship once again with a point to prove. ‘Bully Boy’ has reached the final in the World Matchplay, semi-final at the European Championship and Champions League of Darts.
As well as a good performance to reach the Quarter-Final at the Grand Slam of Darts. Despite that good form at times this year, he is still not a major TV title winner and he will hope to put that right at Alexandra Palace.
Last year he reached the final and will see having that experience of reaching the showpiece final that he can go one better. He will have either Luke Woodhouse or Paul Lim though in his first game of the tournament which will not be a foregone conclusion by any means.
Woodhouse has shown at times this year that he has the game to trouble anyone including Daryl Gurney at the recent Players Championship Finals; while Lim continues to roll back the years and is still playing top darts. As a result, Smith can be a player that will either be an early casualty or go far, this could prove to be the case again this year.
Author: Samuel Gill