It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching the festive time of the year, and one of the hallmarks of the Christmas period for sports fans is the PDC World Darts Championship, which takes place over the course of the holidays each winter. Last year, former rugby player Gerwyn Price made his dreams come true by landing the trophy and the winner’s cheque of £500,000.
Darts fans all over the world will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of the tournament’s return, and with spectators hopefully allowed to pack out Alexandra Palace following their absence last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s bound to be a memorable occasion full of drama.
As we count down the days until the players take to the oche, let’s run through some of the favourites to win the title.
It’s no surprise that defending champion Price is the favourite to land the title once again. Over the last couple of years, the Welshman has ascended to a new level, and multiple titles have followed, including the world crown back in January.
That said, Price is yet to land another tournament victory since his success at ‘Ally Pally’, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure of walking out as defending champion. Last time, we saw Peter Wright struggle with that weight of expectation — going out in the third round having won the tournament the year before.
Price has a strong mentality though, and you can bet he’ll be up for the challenge of becoming the first man to win it two years running since Gary Anderson in 2015 and 2016.
Michael Van Gerwen
You can never rule out Michael Van Gerwen, although given the fact that it’s been nearly three years since he last won it, the Dutchman will head to London with a point to prove. He’ll still be reeling from losing the final to Wright in 2020, and his 5-0 quarter-final loss last year at the hands of Dave Chisnall was also unexpected.
There have been some solid results for MVG in 2021, but he is another who has failed to land a title. It could prove that he is saving his best form for the World Championship.
Currently third in the darts betting from Betfair, Jonny Clayton may well fancy his chances of getting his hands on the title. The Welshman has had a sensational 2021, winning the World Series Finals, the World Grand Prix, the Premier League and the Masters. That kind of form doesn’t go unnoticed, and in terms of pure results, many might consider him the favourite to win the World Championship.
However, Clayton has never advanced beyond the last-32 stage at Alexandra Palace, and that poor record could well play on his mind when push comes to shove.
After losing in the third round as defending champion, Wright is on a mission to regain his world title, and having won the World Matchplay earlier this year, he’ll be confident that he still has the game to take on the world’s best and come out on top.
The man known as ‘Snakebite’ delivered one of darts’ best stories when he won the World Championship two years ago, and it would be an incredibly impressive achievement if he were to win it for a second time in three years.