World Cup of Darts Preview

By Paul Woodage 08/09/2021

Germany is once again the host for the 2021 PDC World Cup of Darts.

Thirty-two nations will travel to the city of Jena to compete in what has become a fascnating international festival of darts.

This year signifies the eleventh staging of the tournament. In 2010, the Netherlands duo of Raymond van Barneveld and Co Stompe were victorious in the inaugural event.

Since then, the Dutch have shared World Cup honours with England. Both nations claimed the title on four occasions until the stranglehold was finally broken by Scotland in 2019.

Famously last year, Wales made history by triumphantly lifting the trophy for the first time in their history. The team of Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton were sublime in claiming their maiden World Cup crown and are strong favourites to retain it.

England are amongst the pick of the bunch to stop the Welsh in their tracks. 

Last year the pair of Rob Cross and Michael Smith were beaten finalists. This time around it’s James Wade and Dave Chisnall who will be donnng the red and white. They’ll be hoping to go one step further than their compatriots, but must first overcome Brazil in round one.

Despite Wales being the reigning champions, they are seeded second for the tournament. That is due to what most would consider a false PDC order of merit ranking of 13th for Jonny Clayton.

However, that won’t deter the current Premier League and World Champion Price who are full of confidence. First up in the defence of their title is the Finnish team of Marko Kantele and Veijo Viinikka.

A week before the event began, Scotland would have been top seeds. The pairing of Peter Wright and Gary Anderson are a test for anyone. However, the Flying Scotsman has decided to opt against doing exactly that. Instead, replacing him is the vastly experienced John Henderson.

First up for Snakey and Hendo is the Chinese team consisting of Jianfeng Lu and Wenqing Liu. Tricky but you’d expect the Scots to have enough in the tank, especially given the form Peter Wright has been in lately.

Michael van Gerwen is partnered this year with Dirk van Duijvenbode as the Dutch go looking for their fifth World Cup crown. They face a banana skin called Denmark in their opening match.

Belgium always seem to enjoy this tournament. Last year, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts entertained us all with their Flemish double act version of Ant & Dec and did pretty well on the oche too.

On their day, they are as strong as anyone. Van den Bergh is now firmly established as one of the best players in the world. For Huybrechts, wearing the Belgian colours always brings out his very best. 

As fourth seeds, Belgium are certainly ones to watch. They face the Greek pairing of John Michael and Veniamin Symeonidis in their first match.

On a sad note, a lot of neutrals will be undenyably rooting for Australia. Since the tragic recent passing of former participant, Kyle Anderson many would love to see them go all the way.

Representing the Aussies this year is once again Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta. The boys from down under always wear their green and gold jerseys with immense pride. This time will be no different but they are aiming to bring the trophy home in honour of their fallen comrade.

Few would begrudge them the title and based purely on ability, they are certainly right in the mix.

The action kicks off on Thursday 9th September, live on Sky Sports.

ROUND ONE

Thursday September 9
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Hungary v Lithuania
Czech Republic v Poland
Gibraltar v Singapore
USA v Sweden
Scotland v China
Netherlands v Denmark
Wales v Finland
Australia v Italy

Friday September 10
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Russia v Japan
Spain v South Africa
Republic of Ireland v Portugal
Austria v Philippines
Northern Ireland v Hong Kong
Germany v Canada
England v Brazil
Belgium v Greece
-----ENDS-----
Lead Image: L Lustig ( PDC) 

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