The second round of the PDC World Cup of Darts is played out across two sessions of action on Saturday as the tournament turns to singles play as well as the doubles we have been enjoyed should they be needed.
The format gets a bit awkward now. Each country takes on an opponent over the best-of-three rubbers. The first two are singles matches in a race-to-4 and should they be shared we go to the doubles over the same distance to determine the winner of the tie. If the same country wins both singles they head straight through.
You would have to say that the downside to the shocks on the opening night is that some of the afternoon session on Saturday could be largely average fayre. We get underway with two sides who would not have expected to be playing each other for a spot in the quarter final when New Zealand meet South Africa. An all-Asian clash comes next as Singapore take on Japan before Scotland look to continue their progression in the tournament when they go up against Sweden. The only truly decent looking match on the card on Saturday rounds off the afternoon when Belgium take on the hosts Germany.
Former finalists Australia have the honour of opening up the evening session when they take on Canada before Austria look to make it back into the quarter finals at the expense of USA, who could be a tricky test if they can get it into the doubles contest. It will then be the turn of England to look to progress. They face Republic of Ireland before the show is closed by Netherlands continuing their defence of the title when they face a competent Poland side.
This is not an easy card to bet on. There are so many matches among these that I can’t even see how we get to the doubles match so finding bets really isn’t easy. You would expect all four seeds in the evening to progress and unless USA match up right I’m not expecting to see a single doubles match there. We might see some doubles in the afternoon but even then it isn’t guaranteed. I will go with one bet though.
I took Japan as dark horses or outsiders before the tournament began so I was delighted when Singapore took care of Wales for them and the Japanese can hopefully feel the benefit on Saturday. If this goes to doubles then Japan might have their work cut out but I’m not so sure it will do. I would suggest Seigo Asada is a better player than Paul Lim, and that is no disrespect but he leads 2-1 in their career meetings and beat him 5-0 in an Asian Tour event earlier in the year. I think Haruki Muramatsu is better than Harith Lim so if they both perform near their best Japan should win this before the need for doubles.
WON – Back Japan to beat Singapore for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill
Back them here: