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Burnett and Thornton are the unlikely men for title charge

| 27.12.2013

Richie Burnett continued the giant killing at Alexandra Palace as he toppled fifth seed Andy Hamilton with unnerving ease in front of the boisterous World Championship crowd.

The Welshman was inspired as he swept aside his opponent, recording a 4-1 victory and exorcising revenge after a defeat to the same man at this stage last year.

Hamilton reached the final of this event back in 2012 but was outclassed by the Prince of Wales from start to finish.

This is the first time Burnett has been past the second round since 2005 but he is sure he can progress further in this competition.

“I’m not frightened of anybody. I can play darts on my day. All the top players know I can play really, really well.” Burnett told Sky Sports.

“I’ve had to learn my apprenticeship again because I took six years away from the game. This is my third year back in the sport of darts and I really think I’m getting there this week.”

The 46-year-old is an unlikely 33/1 shot to be crowned champion but he already has a Lakeside title under his belt and is sure to receive some patriotic backing from his fellow countrymen.

Getting behind Burnett defeating 21st seed Ian White could prove a very shrewd investment.

He is available as the 6/5 outsider when the pair meet on the 27th.

A man with perhaps more chance of taking home the world crown is Robert Thornton.

The Scot was visibly struggling with illness against Australian Beau Anderson but still blew him away with a commanding 4-0 victory.

The Thorn has never been past the last-16 phase but looks in ruthless form, dropping just one set in his first two clashes at Ally Pally.

The exit of Phil Taylor has left the tournament wide open and with Thornton clearly still riding high from his appearance in the Grand Slam final, the 12/1 about him taking the title should not be sniffed at.

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Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.