Battler Price may make Van Gerwen work for the win
Barney the bet in all-Dutch tussle
Day 11 Sky Sports Darts from 12.45pm Wednesday
Get set for a van-tastic night of darts at Alexandra Palace as a trio of Dutch darting demigods kick off round three of William Hill World Championship.
Old rivals Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort cross tungsten before Michael van Gerwen, the 8-13 favourite to defend his crown, takes on Welsh destroyer Gerwyn Price.
Before all that, there are the last four second-round ties to be played and punters will be keeping a close eye on ailing Peter Wright against Jamie Lewis.
Simon Whitlock v Darren Webster
Head-to-head: Webster leads 4-3
Darren Webster is seeking to complete a memorable hat-trick by dumping Simon Whitlock out of the William Hill World Championship for the third time in four years.
Webster beat the Aussie 3-1 in round one three years ago and crushed him 4-0 in round two last year.
There’s something about the Alexandra Palace stage which brings out the best in the Englishman and he probably merits an interest at 7-5.
Neither man was at his best in round one – Whitlock averaged just 87 against Martin Schindler – and this could be a gruelling affair.
1pt 11-8 Sky Bet
Alan Norris v James Richardson
H2H: Norris leads 4-1
James Richardson was all but handed a bye into round two courtesy of a Kim Huybrechts no-show last Thursday.
Alan Norris, however, will represent far sterner opposition and the former Lakeside runner-up can win this comfortably. The odds look fair enough.
Kevin Munch v Toni Alcinas
H2H: No previous meetings
Germany’s Kevin Munch was one of the star turns of round one, coming from behind to beat two-time world champion Adrian Lewis 3-1.
Despite that, he goes off slight outsider against Antonio Alcinas, the one-paced Spaniard who will probably be better in round two playing someone he doesn't know, rather than chum Cristo Reyes, who was his victim in round one.
Alcinas is steady and won’t do much wrong. Munch will have to excel in key moments if he’s to make it into the last 16 and it may well be worth backing him to pull it off.
1pt 19-20 Betfair
Peter Wright v Jamie Lewis
H2H: Wright leads 5-1
Doubts over Peter Wright’s health weren’t completely dispelled last Thursday when Snakebite struggled to beat Diogo Portela. A 3-1 win with a 98 average was hardly a disaster but he looked as rusty as would be expected for a man who has been convalescing after illness.
Six days later, and that much better, he ought to be too good for Jamie Lewis, though he may not manage a repeat of the 4-0 whitewash he pulled off against the Welshman at this stage last year. Lewis won only one leg.
Interestingly, despite being played off the oche, Lewis won the 180s battle 4-2 and is blessed with an erratic asset of going on maximum splurges before nodding off.
That’s frustrating for his fans but music to the ears of anyone confronted by big odds that he wins the 180s match this time.
J Lewis to hit more 180s
1pt 9-4 bet365
Vincent van der Voort v Raymond van Barneveld
H2H: Barney leads 17-2
Round three kicks off with an all-Dutch showdown which Raymond van Barneveld ought to win well.
We’re into the nuts and bolts of the tournament and this is where Barney excels – he has reached at least the last eight of the worlds 17 times since 1995, making the semis in each of the last three.
Van der Voort, as the head-to-head record shows, has a mindset issue against Barney and even though both men are playing superbly – they’ve only lost nine legs each – the favourite to win at least 4-2 is the shout.
R van Barneveld -1.5
1pt 4-5 Betfair
Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price
H2H: Van Gerwen leads 10-0
Aggressive Gerwyn Price fears no one and will love the battle – the problem for the Welshman is that Michael van Gerwen seems to love playing him.
They’ve met ten times and Mighty Mike has won all ten. Chalk up number 11 this evening.
Price is playing well enough to detain Van Gerwen, however, and may even nick a set off him.
Over 18.5 legs
3pts 10-11 Betfred
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