darts van barneveld

In-form Oranje Favs For World Cup of Darts

Before the FIFA World Cup starts in Brazil, we’ve got the 2014 World Cup of Darts in Hamburg; I preview the event and pick out the best value on offer.

On form alone there can be only one winner at this year’s World Cup of Darts. Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld contested the recent Premier League final, with Barney emerging as the victor, then a week later MVG got back on the winner’s podium as he took the Dubai Masters title. The Dutch are priced at odds of 6/4 for the title and it’s difficult to argue with their position as joint-favourites.

Joining them at the top of the market are defending champions England (also 6/4), represented by Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis. The Power found his range towards the business end of the Premier League group stages but was thwarted by Barney in the semi-finals of that tournament and then lost to Peter Wright in the quarter-finals in Dubai.

Lewis, meanwhile, is showing sings of picking up his level of form, but has not consistently performed at his best since winning the UK Open. He slumped out of the Premier League at the group stages, but did win his final three matches of that tournament, and then beat Barney in the quarter-finals at the Dubai Masters before losing to MVG in the semis.

The only other nation available at single-figure odds is Scotland (11/2), represented by Peter Wright and Robert Thornton. Wright has been a revelation over the past 12 months, reaching the final of the PDC World Championship and, despite not qualifying for the semi-finals, becoming a significant player in the Premier League.

The Scots would arguably be a stronger side with the in-form Gary Anderson playing alongside Snakebite, and possibly worth a bet to lift the trophy, but rankings dictate that an out-of-form Thornton represents his nation and that unfortunately means I can’t be backing them. The Thorn had a terrible end to his Premier League campaign, winning only one of his final eight matches, and despite a couple of recent tour wins his performances on the main stage have been decidedly average in 2014.

Last year’s beaten finalists Belgium represent some good solid each-way value at odds of 16/1. Each of the Huybrechts brothers (Ronny and Kim) are capable of beating any of the top players on their day, as they have shown over the past 18 months, and the short format of this tournament increases those chances significantly. The draw hasn’t been overly kind, they’re scheduled to meet the Dutch in the semis, but it’s not a task beyond them.

The draw has been kind, however, to the Welsh. Richie Burnett and Mark Webster have flourished in this format over the past couple of years, narrowly losing out to England at the semi-final stage on both occasions, and are worth taking a chance on at odds of 33/1 here. They’re scheduled to meet England at the semi-finals stage again this year but can make it third time lucky against an English duo not exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment.