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Who is out to Spring a Surprise at the PDC World Championships?

Posted: 11.12.18 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

Alexandra Palace is all set to become the centre of the sports world this Christmas as the annual Darts World Championships comes to Wood Green for the eleventh year in a row.

Few sports quite grab the festive spirit as the darts with the coverage perhaps slightly more famous for its outlandishly entertaining crowd who lavish themselves in any number of imaginative costumes in the hope of being picked up by the TV cameras. The crowd plays a major role in the atmosphere of the tournament but there is the small matter of a World Championship to settle up on the oche.

Unsurprisingly Dutchman and former two-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to win the tournament at 11/8 with Betway as of the 9th December, but with no Phil Taylor in the field for the first time in over 25 years, could an outsider once again sneak to the top of the game much like in 2018?

We take a look at some of the longer shots who will head into the tournament believing that they are in with a shot of changing their lives forever.

Rob Cross

Okay, we admit it, defending champion Rob Cross may not be the biggest outsider in the field but his shock title in the 2018 edition when he defeated Phil the Power Taylor in his last outing was a huge surprise.


That victory certainly spurred the 28-year-old Englishman onto big things in 2018 with victory at the Players Championship in Wigan and claiming the title at the Brisbane Darts Masters two highlights in a stellar year for the man known as Voltage.

Despite being ranked second in the World, Cross still comes in at fifth favourite to successfully defend his title making him at 20/1 a valuable proposition.

Raymond van Barneveld

They say in sport that practice makes perfect and never a truer word is spoken when it comes to darts.

In that case, Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld must be right up there as one of the most practiced and experienced players hit the oche this World Championships.

The man affectionately known as ‘Barney’ shocked the World when he announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2020 World Championship’s meaning he has just two more chances to add a sixth World title to his large trophy cabinet.

It would be something of a fairy-tale of Barney were to win but certainly not unthinkable.

Already this year the Dutchman has won the team World Cup of Darts event for a fourth time as well as coming runner-up at this year’s Masters.

Barney knows how to win and although he may no longer be at the height of his power, only a fool would write him off.

Mensur Suljovic

Serbian-born Austrian darts player Suljovic has spent much of 2018 flying under the radar whilst pulling off some remarkably impressive displays.

The 46-year-old is known for breaking the norm as he favours double 14 for his finishing throw as opposed to the universally popular double 20.

The last few seasons Suljovic has really started to come to the fore and will be all out for the World Championships after a superb 2018.


As semi-finalist at the Masters, Grand Slam of Darts, and World Grand Prix has put Suljovic’s name really on the map but victory at the German Darts Masters was the highlight in a special year for the man known as ‘The Gentle’.

Danny Noppert

At 150/1, the Dutchman really is something of an outsider but well worth a look at.

After switching from the BDO to the PDC at the beginning of the year after finishing runner-up at the BDO World Championships, Noppert is a rapidly rising star which would surprise few if he were to go deep (or even win) the World Championships.

Noppert will turn 28 the day before the final and has a strong chance of being there after reaching the semi-final of the Player Championship’s in which he took victory in the Dublin leg during the tour.

However, statistics play a vital role in darts and in reaching his semi-final, Noppert failed to break an average of 100 with his throw in either the quarter’s or semi-finals.

That is, however, a small blot on his copy book and something he will no doubt work on as the World Championships gets underway.

Unfortunately, Noppert will have to do it the hard way entering the tournament at round one, but the Dutchman will not lack motivation as he bids to take the PDC by storm in 2019.

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