Nicholson believes more than one female winner likely at PDC World Darts Championship this year: "Pick two out the three as anything is possible"

Paul Nicholson in his columnist role for Sporting Life joined them for a preview ahead of the PDC World Darts Championship which kicks off tomorrow (December 15) with Ally Pally set to kick start Dartmas.

Gerwyn Price is top seed heading into the showpiece and Nicholson believes that there is reason for the doubts that many have going into this tournament with Michael van Gerwen the standout favourite.

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"When you look at what he's done over the past few seasons, he has won in Europe, he's won on the floor, he's won majors but this year maybe not as prevalent as he has been," said Nicholson on Sporting Life's preview show.

"Let's face it, he's the number one seed for a reason as over the last two years he's won more ranking money than anyone else but there are questions due to the position he's in.

"He hasn't won as many tournaments as he has done in previous years so we're automatically thinking he's not the favorite for the title and of course he's in the same section as Raymond van Barneveld who famously beat him in the Grand Slam last month so for that reason a lot of people are tipping outside of that quarter."

Noppert gunning for Premier League contention

In the same quarter is Ryan Searle and Danny Noppert, with emphasis on the latter. Despite winning the UK Open, many in the sport see 'The Freeze' as potentially joining Nicholson and Rob Cross on the 'did not play in the Premier League despite winning a major' conversation but 'The Asset' is tipping the Dutchman who has had the best year of his darting career to force their hand.

"Anyone who says that isn't the game of the year between Dirk and Ryan Searle they can have a word with me. Ryan has had the exact same year that you've mentioned, good at the start, he's had opportunities in the middle of the year he didn't take them but his form is trending in the right direction.

"You just wonder if his preparation is going to be as good if not better than someone like Danny Noppert. He's won the UK Open and there's this huge grey cloud hovering over, will they be in the Premier League next year. He needs to do something at this championship to be part of that elite and I think he with that motivation is going to come through."

More than one female player winning a match?

All eyes will be on Fallon Sherrock, Beau Greaves and Lisa Ashton at the World Darts Championship and Nicholson believes there is a real possibility that more than one woman wins for the first time.

"A lot of people are talking about Beau Greaves and I think the way we are looking at her against Willie O'Connor is the right way because she has never played in front of a crowd like this before. She's got an amazing amount of experience for someone under 20 but this is all about her first round game.

"Lisa (Ashton) has played here many times but has never won a match, there is a great deal of speculation from a lot of experts in the sport that this will be the championship where more than one woman wins a match. It could be Ashton, Sherrock or Greaves, pick two out the three as anything is possible."

"She's doing more than anyone in the world at the moment in their portion of the sport. Nobody in the male game is having that kind of dominance because of the amount of players that can reach the heights. She's reaching new heights and setting new records."

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