Christmas is in the bag, everyone has run out of money after the festive period, and travel networks are crippled by harsh weather conditions. It can only mean one thing; it’s time for the PDC Betfair World Cup of Darts!
The competitors will battle it out in Hamburg from February 1-3, to knock the reigning champions (England) off their throne. Last year was a strange affair for the England duo, Taylor and Lewis, who retain the 1/2 spots and will join up again for the 2013 campaign. In each round, one player seemed to have an off game, being supported and carried through by the other – resulting in a sudden death tiebreak to beat Canada in the early stages. This was even apparent in the somewhat brilliant final, against Australia. Whitlock and Nicholson breezed through to the final, making light work of Dutch duo Barneveld and Vincent van see Voort, only to lose at the last hurdle. Nicholson, Taylor and Whitlock all missed darts to win the tournament before Lewis showed them all how it was done. So that was 2012, what of 2013?
Although nothing can ever be taken for granted, see England’s near slip up against Canada last year, it’s probably fair to make a few assumptions this year.
Taylor and Lewis should make the semi-finals without breaking sweat. As should the Dutch and Australia. The last slot will be battled out between Scotland and Wales. Anderson and Thornton should be strong enough to overcome the Welsh lads and meet England in the semis.
So that would leave us with a semi final round up of:
- England vs Scotland
- Netherlands vs Australia
Again, if the English duo are clicking, they should make light work of Scotland, leaving one hell of a match up between Australia and Netherlands. On their day, RVB and MVG are just too good for the Australian pairing, although Nicholson has looked stronger this year, so don’t count them out of it just yet. Barney’s head goes down easily, and for all his positives, Van Gerwen’s not always consistent enough when it counts, but they should still be seen as favourites if this matchup occurs.
If it is an England v Netherlands affair in the final, then it’s going to be a roller coaster. Despite what Taylor and Barney say, what happened at the end of their semi final matchup late last year, will not have been forgotten. This might just give Barneveld the extra incentive he needs, and if MVG is firing on all cylinders, they are going to be a formidable foe for anyone. This would be a dream match up for fans, with the four of them and more importantly, their personalities up there – anything could happen.
So who do you think will take this tournament? Let us know in the comments below.