The final day of darts action before Christmas is another double header day of action with an afternoon and evening session in the PDC World Darts Championship inside the Alexandra Palace in London on Monday.
Spots in the last 16 are the reward for the six players who are victorious over the course of the day, where they will join the likes of Nathan Aspinall and Michael van Gerwen who secured their passages through on Sunday.
Nico Kurz vs Luke Humphries
Two youngsters get us underway on the afternoon when Nico Kurz meets Luke Humphries in a match which could be life defining for whoever comes out on top, with Kim Huybrechts waiting for the winner in the next round.
Both these men have come through their two matches pretty impressively thus far and therefore they will both be confident going into this one. There isn’t a lot between the pair either. Both are finishing nicely but it might just be the better 180 hitting ability of Humphries which wins the day. Kurz hit a bunch of 140s against Cullen in the previous round but whether he can repeat that monotony of them here remains to be seen. I fancy Humphries to edge this but again he won’t have been favourite in a match of this magnitude too often and the odds look about right so I’ll leave this one alone.
Adrian Lewis vs Darren Webster
The second match of the afternoon is the only one involving two seeded players as Adrian Lewis continues his quest for a third world title when he takes on a Darren Webster who is often dangerous but who due to injury hasn’t had the best year of his career to date.
The two men had different routes through to this third round match. Lewis had to come from two sets down in a right ding dong with Cristo Reyes while Webster cantered through against a Yuri Yamada who offered no resistance whatsoever and looked out of his depth. Based on that we can’t really judge Webster too much but the suspicion is that he’ll need a whole lot more than we’ve seen from him recently if he is going to come out on top here.
I expect Lewis to win this one and he should win it going away but I’m a little concerned that due to him not winning as many matches on the big stage as he would have wanted recently he could make hard work of it. Where he shouldn’t make it tough is in the 180 scoring. He is an infinitely better scorer of 180s than Webster and I expect that to be shown over the course of this match. Lewis hit seven of them in the last round to the one from Webster. Lewis will be pushing double figures for them here and that can be enough to cover a 2.5 handicap in that discipline.
Luke Woodhouse vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
The final game of the afternoon should be a juicy one as a man who is making a name for himself as a giant killer in Luke Woodhouse, takes on the confident Belgian player who often performs well on this stage in the shape of Dimitri Van den Bergh for the right to meet the winner of the previous game in the last 16.
Woodhouse saw off Daryl Gurney in the Players Championship Finals last month and he followed that up by beating Michael Smith in the second round here, albeit a disappointing Smith. Van den Bergh was the player of the second round, posting an average of 103 which went unnoticed given that it followed the achievements of Fallon Sherrock but the question has to be whether a man who hasn’t had the best year can follow that up, especially in the finishing department.
This match feels a lot closer than the odds suggest to me and as a result I’ll take Woodhouse with the 1.5 set start. I suspect Van den Bergh might just have peaked too early and if he drops down a few points on the average he meets Woodhouse who averaged 97 and change against Smith. This one can go all the way, if Woodhouse doesn’t win.
Back A.Lewis (-2.5) Most 180s vs D.Webster for a 4/10 stake at 2.05 with 888sport
Back L.Woodhouse (+1.5 sets) to beat D.Van den Bergh for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
Back him here: