The opening night of the World Cup of Darts on Thursday sees the group stage of the competition beginning with the two highest ranked teams in each section battling it out for the early control heading into the key day on Friday.
We have 12 matches to enjoy over the course of the evening and with everything in this tournament now pairs only we should be treated to some interesting and dramatic darts to open up a fascinating competition.
First Four Matches
We begin with a fairly low key affair in Group L as two of the lesser teams in the tournament overall meet when Switzerland take on Italy for the early bragging rights. One of the better matches on the evening comes second when Poland take on Portugal which means we see Krzysztof Ratajski and Jose de Sousa against each other. The Czech Republic are the seeded team on show third in the session when they take on the Singapore pairing which includes Paul Lim before the opening third of the evening sees Spain taking on South Africa, meaning Devon Petersen will be on stage.
Middle Four Matches
The Republic of Ireland get the second part of the evening going when Keane Barry makes his World Cup debut alongside William O’Connor as they go up against Thailand. The other half of Ireland follow them onto the stage when the dark horses Northern Ireland take on a France side who could be useful if Thibault Tricole has a satisfactory partner. Belgium are one of the standout pairs in the evening and they get the second half of matches underway when they take on Finland before Canada go up against India.
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Final Four Matches
The concluding third of the evening begins with the finalists of 2021 on show when Austria, with Mensur Suljovic heading their challenge up, take on Demark before the host nation Germany get their campaign underway. They face a potentially dangerous Hong Kong side. The penultimate match of the evening will see Australia beginning the defence of their title when they take on the minnows of Guyana. The final match of the first session of play sees Latvia going up against New Zealand.
I’m saving my bet for the last match of the evening as Latvia go up against New Zealand in a match I think the European side should be shorter to win than they are. I often say in this tournament it is more about how strong your second player is as opposed to your first but that only really counts when you have significant quality in your main player and in Ben Robb and Warren Parry I’m not convinced the Kiwis do have that.
There is no doubt that Madars Razma is the standout player on the stage in this match. He sits just outside the top 32 in the world rankings which is a mile clear of anyone else. Latvia made the second round of the tournament last year when they took care of Hungary with a 91.78 average in the pairs. Razma has a different partner here but it is one who made his debut on the European Tour circuit earlier in the year so he has big stage experience. New Zealand don’t lack for that but they might lack for a competitive hit out and like I say they don’t have that standout player. As long as Dmitrijs Žukovs can back Razma up with solid play I think Latvia are the ones to be on here.
Back Latvia to beat New Zealand for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Bet365