There are many great things about the extended version of the PDC World Championship but one of them is that there are more players in each quarter which gives us even bigger and better quarter markets to get stuck into ahead of the tournament beginning.
We’ll begin with the first quarter, which actually looks like the pick of the bunch this year, and where Michael van Gerwen might not behaving it all his own way for once in this event. Some huge names will entertain us for a couple of weeks in this section of the draw.
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Alan Tabern/Raymond Smith
(32) Max Hopp v Danny Noppert/Royden Lam
(16) Adrian Lewis v Simon Stevenson/Ted Evetts
(17) Raymond van Barneveld v Matthew Edgar/Darius Labanauskas
(8) Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce/Anastasia Dobromyslova
(25) Alan Norris v Steve Lennon/James Bailey
(9) James Wade v Krzysztof Ratajski/Seigo Asada
(24) Jelle Klaasen v Keegan Brown/Karel Sedlacek
I have split the draw up into a red section and a green one so that we get a clearer look at how the draw could pan out. The winner of the red draw will play the winner of the green one in the quarter final so we can see that this year van Gerwen is in for a tough ride just to make the quarter finals. Adrian Lewis, Raymond Barneveld, Max Hopp and Danny Noppert should guarantee some competitive action.
It is no easiest in the green section. Common logic would probably dictate that Simon Whitlock and James Wade will play out the final match in that part of the draw but Alan Norris, Jelle Klaasen and Krzysztof Ratajski will keep them honest. The other thing to look out for in this portion of proceedings is how well Anastasia Dobromyslova can fare.
I wouldn’t normally make a play at two players in the same quarter but with Michael van Gerwen in the section there is insane value on the rest of the runners and I can’t ignore two of them. Raymond Barneveld has been poor for a while but we know he turns up to this tournament in good touch. He has beaten van Gerwen in this before and should have beaten him last year only to lose in a final set in the quarterfinal. He would play him in the last 16 this year which might benefit the Dutch legend. Barneveld needs a big tournament to prove his worth for the Premier League. He’ll be in anyway but perhaps not by merit without doing anything here. Barney gets up for this, set play suits him and while MVG has to be respected, 16/1 is still too big.
I think anyone could really come through that green section of the draw but Krzysztof Ratajski has to be some value at 33/1. There is every chance he wouldn’t have to play van Gerwen at all to win this quarter and he is a man in decent enough form. We might not have seen it on the big PDC stage but we shouldn’t forget that the Pole is a former Winmau World Masters winner and neither should we forget that he recently won two tour events in the same weekend which takes some doing. He has made the last 16 of the UK Open, Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals in 2018 and if he can overcome Wade in the second round he could be in for a huge run here too.
Back R.Barneveld to win 1st Quarter for a 1/10 stake at 17.00 with William Hill
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Back K.Ratajski to win 1st Quarter for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Betfair
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