PDC World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen favourite to be crowned champion

Michael van Gerwen maybe favourite to land his fourth World Darts Championship title, but he has the likes of Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price hot on his heels ahead of a bumper New Year’s Day at Alexandra Palace.

This year’s Worlds has had pretty much everything, from James Wade’s sensational nine-darter to MVG’s epic victory over Joe Cullen.

The standard has hit the Ally Pally roof and it promises to get even better ahead of four high-quality quarter-final matches played across two sessions on Friday.

Stephen Bunting takes on Krzysztof Ratajski in the opener before The Flying Scotsman Anderson and Dirk Van Duijvenbode do battle.

The evening session will start with the contest between The Iceman Price and Daryl Gurney, with three-time world champion van Gerwen’s meeting with Dave Chisnall also taking place on Friday evening.

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January 1, 2021, 12:00pm

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Krzysztof Ratajski vs Stephen Bunting

First up on the oche sees The Polish Eagle take on former Lakeside champion Bunting.

Ratajski survived seven match darts in the deciding leg and missed nine himself before he got over the line on D1 against Germany’s Gabriel Clemens to reach his first-ever quarter-final at the Worlds.

Krzysztof Ratajski’s road to the quarter-finals

Merseysider Bunting is on a revival having seen off Wade and then Ryan Searle to return to the last eight for the first time since 2015.

Stephen Bunting’s road to the quarter-finals

Their only previous meeting came in 2018 at the Dutch Masters, which Bunting won 6-3.

Gary Anderson vs Dirk Van Duijvenbode

This could be an explosive encounter between two of the biggest scorers in the game at these Worlds.

The Scot may have been flummoxed by the antics of Mensur Suljovic, but he was somewhere near his awe-inspiring best against Devon Petersen.

Gary Anderson’s road to the quarter-finals

Aubergenius Van Duijvenbode has already knocked out two former world champions in Rob Cross and Glen Durrant, so can he score a hat-trick on New Year’s Day?

Van Duijvenbode famously defeated ‘his hero’ Anderson 3-1 at the World Grand Prix in Coventry just a few months ago en route to the final where he was beaten by Gerwyn Price.

Dirk van Duijvenbode road to the quarter-finals

“He’s my hero, always been. When I beat him in the (World) Grand Prix, I was like how can I beat my hero because you don’t want to beat your hero because he’s your hero,” said the Dutchman.

“Now I play him on the biggest stage in the world. Win or lose I don’t mind because I play my hero on the biggest stage I can play him.”

New Year’s Day at the World Championship

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Gerwyn Price vs Daryl Gurney

Welshman Price has his sights set on becoming world No 1, but he must first tackle a resurgent Gurney in a mouth-watering clash.

Gerwyn Price’s road to the quarter-finals

This year’s World Grand Prix champion has not quite hit top form at this year’s tournament, but he may have to do so in order to progress.

By contrast, SuperChin is into his second world championship quarter-final after a year to forget. With the exception of a semi-final showing in March’s UK Open, the Northern Irishman has relinquished his spot in the world’s top 10.

Daryl Gurney’s road to the quarter-finals

He has suffered opening-round exits at the Grand Prix, European Championship and Players Championship Finals, while also failing to qualify for the Grand Slam.

Price has dominated their previous meetings, but all records will be thrown out the window when they collide on Friday evening.

Michael van Gerwen vs Dave Chisnall

Three-time champion Van Gerwen will surely be licking his lips at taking on Chizzy. After all, the world No 1 enjoys an incredible record against the St Helens thrower.

MVG’s road to the quarter-finals

He’ll be aiming to seal his 49th victory over Chisnall, who has not beaten the Dutchman in over four years. That’s 27 meetings (L26 D1).

Astonishingly, this will be their first meeting at the Worlds, and Chisnall believes he can beat the flying Dutchman on the biggest stage of them all, telling Sky Sports: “I’ve not beat him for a while, but this tournament, I can beat him. I’m playing well enough, but I’ve just got to tidy up the sloppy darts. It will be a fast, fast game, so I’ll be happy with that.”

Dave Chisnall’s road to the quarter-finals

Gerwen recovered from falling 3-1 behind to an exceptional Joe Cullen, who fired in 19 180s and missed two match darts at the bullseye in a breath-taking affair to reach the last eight, where he will be favourite to defeat Chisnall once again.

You won’t miss a dart thanks to the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel all the way until January 4 with every session from the World Darts Championship, including the final on Sunday, January 3. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts

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