Players from four countries appear on Wednesday evening at the World Darts Championship.

It’s a little less international than the afternoon session, but it’ll have another delicious portion of darting drama. We start with the man who has defied a bit of a German hegemony. Max Hopp, Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler are the nation’s ‘big three’. But it’s Nico Kurz who appears at the World Darts Championship, not Schindler, after he tore down the Wall in the German Superleague final. James Wilson won’t be too familiar with the youngster, but knows he will need to reach the same levels that saw him beat Peter Wright in Minehead. More on that match right here.

Kurz is the only player appearing who hasn’t played at the Ally Pally before. Josh Payne and Diogo Portela have each had two previous visits, without having much success. Of course, for the trailblazing Portela, any appearance is good progress for himself and South American darts. A day on from Fallon Sherrock’s landmark victory, can Braziliant score his continent’s first World Darts Championship success? He’s a popular figure, so victory would be very well received – Payne wouldn’t be so keen on it, of course.

Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

Photo: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

Rage against The Machine

A lot of eyes are going to be on Gabriel Clemens, for a couple of reasons. For one, he’s one of the biggest revelations in darts this year. He goes into the World Darts Championship aiming for a victory to take him through to the second round, which is where his run ended last year. If he does make it, Clemens would face fellow German star Max Hopp, which would attract a lot of attention. Flying under the radar is Benito van de Pas, whose shot at redemption is a fascinating subplot. We’ve taken a good look at that game here.

James Wade will probably be hoping for a nice, calm World Darts Championship opener. After all, last year’s win over Seigo Asada got feisty in ways that Wade didn’t plan for, and was certainly punished for. The Machine will have been working hard to get himself in the right frame of mind, and to focus purely on the methodical, clinical game that makes him one of the world’s best.

Ritchie Edhouse might not be the best opponent if he’s after a calm encounter. Madhouse lived up to the name pretty well on Tuesday, bouncing about the stage as he out-shouted and outplayed Boris Koltsov. Edhouse has aspirations to get back on the Pro Tour and play the likes of Wade week in, week out. A World Darts Championship win against the eighth seed is as good a springboard as any.

Click here for more information on the PDC World Darts Championship, which takes place at the Alexandra Palace between December 13 and January 1.

PDC World Darts Championship 2020 schedule

Wednesday December 18, evening session

James Wilson vs Nico Kurz (R1)
Josh Payne vs Diogo Portela (R1)
Gabriel Clemens vs Benito van de Pas (R1)
James Wade vs Ritchie Edhouse (R2)

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh