The PDC World Darts Championship is back on Friday and we are full steam ahead for four days from here on in as we go in search of the two men who will battle it out for the title in the first darts match of 2020 inside the Alexandra Palace in London.
To help with that quest there are three matches from the competition in the afternoon session on Friday as we move towards the close of the last 32 and into the real business end of the tournament. Despite Glen Durrant and Daryl Gurney being on show in the session, all eyes will be on Fallon Sherrock once again.
Simon Whitlock vs Mervyn King
Two veterans of both the Alexandra Palace stage and the Lakeside one before it open up the post-Christmas action when Simon Whitlock meets Mervyn King with the winner potentially facing Gerwyn Price in the last 16 over the weekend.
These two have played on 37 previous occasions with Whitlock winning 21-16 in their career head to head heading into this one. He has also won their last five battles so he must be feeling good about life right now it has to be said. To be fair to King he has had a decent enough run in the TV tournaments recently but it has to be a concern how he laboured over the line against Ciaran Teehan in his first game, weakening as the match went on. I’m not a massive fan of Whitlock but you can’t argue with a 3-0 win against a tournament winner in Harry Ward, as well as a near 94 average and good scoring.
Given that Whitlock does have this good record against King, and probably edges it on the scoring power and is definitely in better shape to compete in a long match, which this will surely be unless Whitlock walks it, I think the Australian merits a bet here. His World Championship form is generally pretty good and he can take a step closer to another final by seeing off his old rival.
Daryl Gurney vs Glen Durrant
The pick of the matches in the afternoon session sees the twice PDC major winner Daryl Gurney taking on the BDO world champion and the man who is looking to become the first player to unify the two world titles.
Gurney played really well in his opening match but it was so long ago that he might not even remember his way to the venue! He will have to ensure he delivers that sort of performance again because you never get a bad display out of Durrant, especially when the televised tournaments come along. This one feels like one which could go all the way or be tight throughout and should be a cracking contest but given that I’m on Durrant outright it is one to watch rather than bet on.
Fallon Sherrock vs Chris Dobey
The match which will get the most attention over the session is the final one of it when the Queen of the Palace is back on her stage as Fallon Sherrock plays Chris Dobey, a man who is looking to back up a decent year on the tour.
The Sherrock story has been a great one but I’ve a feeling it comes to an end here. That is nothing against her but there are a couple of things against her. Firstly she’s had a week to take in what she’s done and getting back up again won’t be easy and secondly she won’t have played a match over the best of seven sets competitively before. Dobey is experienced in that and he has a wonderful record on this stage. He’s a heavy scorer and decent enough on the doubles. He’s had long enough to get his head around the fact he’ll be booed throughout the match and if he has prepared himself properly he should end the wonderful run of Sherrock in style.
WON – Back S.Whitlock to beat M.King for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
Back C.Dobey (-2.5 sets) to beat F.Sherrock for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill
Back him here: