Dutch master van Barneveld may be tested by North
Giant Scot Henderson can expect a tussle with Kantele
Sky Sports Arena, 7pm Tuesday
Multiple champions Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis make their Alexandra Palace entrances in round one of the William Hill World Championship on Tuesday night, and they won’t be taking their opponents easily after the savaging sustained by some seeds over the weekend.
Five-time world champ Barney is 1-6 to see off Richard North while Lewis, twice a winner, will almost certainly be shorter still to beat either Aleksandr Oreshkin or Kevin Munch, who engage in preliminary-round action for the right to tackle Jackpot.
If Barney and Lewis needed reminding they they are going to have to play well to go through then the sight of top-16 stars James Wade, Dave Chisnall, Jelle Klaasen and Benito van de Pas all getting dumped out of the tournament will have done the trick.
Aleksandr Oreshkin v Kevin Munch
Head-to-head: No meetings
First up is a potentially tasty preliminary-round dust-up between two men who have been to Ally Pally before.
In the 2012 event, German Munch beat Denis Ovens in round one, the Englishman withdrawing through injury after going a set down. Munch had averaged 98 in the first set.
Two years ago Oreshkin beat Paul Lim and took Mervyn King to a fifth set. The Russian arrowsmith also showed his mettle at this year’s World Cup, beating Kyle Anderson as his country pipped the Aussies for a last-eight place.
John Henderson v Marko Kantele
H2H: Kantele leads 1-0
Big Hendo came of age at the Grand Prix where he managed to see off Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in getting to the semis.
The giant Scot is the first to admit that the unique double-in format of the Grand Prix worked in his favour and both Dutch darting demigods had off-nights.
Back at Alexandra Palace, where he has won only one game in five visits, he can expect a tussle with Marko Kantele.
The Finn finished second in the Scandinavian rankings behind Kim Viljanen, who gave Alan Norris a far sterner examination on Sunday than the 3-0 scoreline suggested.
M Kantele +1.5
2pts 6-4 Betfair
Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North
H2H: North leads 1-0
It’s hard to know how rookie Richard North copes with the big stage, but the ex-brickie from Hampshire certainly has the game to test Barney.
The Dutch master is a 1-6 shot and having made the semis in four of the last five years is still a man to be feared when the mood takes him.
North looks a top player. He won their only meeting – in February – and beat Mark Webster at the Grand Prix. If he can hold himself together he has the game to take Barney to at least a fourth set.
Over 3.5 sets
2pts 10-11 Sky Bet
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