Fresh Peter Wright can stuff Brazilian Portela
Sky Sports Darts & Main Event, 7pm Thursday
Ailing arrers ace Peter Wright has hit the jackpot with the schedule at the William Hill World Championship and hopes to take full advantage by storming into round two.
Wright brings down the curtain on round one against Brazil’s Diogo Portela, a week after the tournament started and just two weeks after he was undergoing a scan on his gallstones.
“I had a couple of weeks of doing nothing, but I’m mentally fresh, which is the most important thing,” said Wright, who is 1-20 to beat Portela. “My target is to have the highest average of the first round.”
C Reyes v A Alcinas
Head-to-head: Reyes leads 2-0
World Cup partners and best chums Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas would have wanted any match other than this one, and their clash could run and run.
The seedings and the money suggest Reyes, yet his form has deserted him as 2017 has gone on and he’s become far too inconsistent to trust at short odds.
Alcinas, the more senior of the two Spaniards, still dines out on the day he and Carlos Rodriguez – his World Cup partner before Reyes arrived on the scene – beat Phil Taylor and James Wade in that pairs tournament.
However, he has never won a singles match on TV, although his floor form over the past six months is better than his opponent’s. It’s tough to call.
Over 16.5 legs
2pts 10-11 Betfred
K Huybrechts v J Richardson
Head-to-head: Huybrechts leads 5-0
James Richardson just loves the big stage as he proved when he stunned Raymond van Barneveld in this tournament six years ago.
However, Richardson was undone in the very next round by Kim Huybrechts and the Belgian is likely to show him no mercy once more. Huybrechts is one of those power scorers and big finishers who should really have won more titles.
His form figures this year aren’t that impressive but he’ll smash in his maximums and can extend his perfect winning record against the Englishman.
K Huybrechts to win & hit more 180s
1pt 10-11 Betway
D Webster v D Petersen
Head-to-head: Webster leads 2-1
The ever-popular Devon Petersen plays less on the tour these days and that lack of competition was evident 12 months ago when he departed at the first hurdle against Steve Beaton with a 79 average.
That won’t cut it against the resurgent Darren Webster, who has enjoyed a fabulous year or so and can win this well.
D Webster to win, hit more 180s & highest checkout
1pt 15-8 Betfred, Coral
P Wright v D Portela
Head-to-head: No previous meetings
The presumption has to be that Wright is fit, well and raring to go after a recent health scare – and if he is this has to end 3-0.
Snakebite has had an outstanding 2017 and the second seed should be too consistent and too solid to be undone by a youngster making his debut.
Portela will look like a man who is enjoying the occasion but he’s probably going to be out of his depth. You can get 4-6 the whitewash though the 5-6 about under 13.5 legs is preferable.
Under 13.5 legs
2pts 5-6 Betfred
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