Power switched on for final foray at world title
Phil Taylor focused on a speedy success
William Hill World Championship
Sky Sports Arena, 7pm
Phil Taylor begins his quest for a 17th William Hill World Championship at Alexandra Palace on what is sure to be an emotional night for the world’s greatest ever arrowsmith.
The 57-year-old will put down his competition arrers for good after the worlds and he’s confident he can see off Chris Dobey in round one and go deep into a tournament he has made his own.
"I’d love to go and have a good run at the World Championship," said Taylor, who went into the tournament a 14-1 chance. "Winning it would obviously be the best way to go out."
Asada v Mathers
Head-to-head: no meetings
Night two kicks off with a best-of-three preliminary-round shootout featuring Gordon Mathers, another Aussie to emerge from nowhere, and Japanese mainstay Seigo Asada.
Mathers finished ahead of Corey Cadby in the DPA rankings, so deserves respect for that, although it’s anyone’s guess how he will cope on his debut.
Asada is a former soft-tip world champ who has had three tilts at the BDO world championships without any great success. A preliminary- round win over Darius Labanauskas was his one whiff of glory on the Lakeside stage.
The winner of the tie will play number 20 seed Rob Cross in the final match of the evening.
Bunting v Van den Bergh
Head-to-head: Bunting leads 2-0
Former BDO champion Stephen Bunting is favourite for this clash but Dimitri van den Bergh can land a blow for the underdog.
A fast start will be key and super-confident world youth champ Van den Bergh has the game to ping the lids.
Bunting made no secret of the fact he almost quit earlier this year. He’s fragile and if he goes a set down he may not have the stomach to get back into it.
D van den Bergh
2pts 13-10 bet365
Taylor v Dobey
Head-to-head: Taylor leads 2-0
Chris Dobey could go down in darting history as the last man to play The Power in the world championship – but it probably won’t happen.
Taylor has been off the radar for weeks now getting in shape for his swansong and the feeling is that he’ll be absolutely ready for the challenge of the man nicknamed Hollywood.
Dobey is one of the game’s growing talents although considering how well he did in the 2016 Grand Slam and subsequent World Championship, this year has been something of an anti-climax.
The expected giant strides haven’t been made, and Taylor can put him in his place.
Under 15.5 legs
3pts 10-11 Betfred
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