Ladbrokes World Championship: Anderson to avoid banana skin
Raymond van Barneveld and Mark Webster are among the big names to fall at the first hurdle in the Ladbrokes World Championship and last year’s beaten finalist Gary Anderson will be hoping not to join them as he prepares for a potentially tricky opener at Alexandra Palace.
Anderson faces German Jyhan Artut in his opening match, while there are three other intriguing matches on day six of the tournament.
Darin Young to beat Colin Lloyd @ 7/4
Young has beaten Lloyd before in the group stages of the 2008 Grand Slam of Darts and can spring a surprise again against an opponent dumped out in the opening round at Alexandra Palace in three of the last six years.
Joe Cullen to beat Oliver Ferenc @ 1/3
Cullen pushed Terry Jenkins close in the opening round last year before losing 3-2 and can face the same opponent again at the same stage by winning his preliminary clash with Serbian qualifier Ferenc.
Colin Osborne to beat Michael van Gerwin @ 10/11
Easily the tightest match of day six on paper as the pair are closely matched in terms of both world rankings and head-to-head record.
Van Gerwin triumphed in their only previous meeting this year back in February, but Osborne has generally performed better under the pressure of the Ladbrokes World Championship and can edge through to round two.
Gary Anderson to beat Jyhan Artut @ 1/20
Anderson is one of the rare few who can push Phil Taylor close for the title and arguably deserves a big victory after following up on his final appearance last year by also taking bridesmaid honours at the Grand Slam of Darts.
Artut could prove dangerous having beaten the likes of Co Stompe, Webster and Mark Hylton en route to a semi final in Germany in October, but Anderson’s expected high three-dart average should be too much for him to live with.