PDC World Championships Day Two Preview

Day Two of the PDC World Championships sees the double sessions return. The star attraction of the afternoon session is former World Championship Quarter-Finalist and previous World Grand Prix winner Daryl Gurney who faces off against the winner of the opening night match between Ricky Evans and Nitin Kumar. In the evening session we could potentially be blessed with a clash between two dual and back to back World Champions in Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis, if ‘Jackpot’ can come through his tough encounter with Matt Campbell on the opening night. The supporting cast isn’t bad either with Lisa Ashton versus Ron Meulenkamp another match we can look forward to.

Day Two of the Championships is on Thursday 16 December

Steve Lennon vs Madars Ramza

Match due to start at 12:40pm

The opening match of the afternoon session features two very steady and consistent arrow smiths in Steve Lennon and Madars Razma in what should be a decent match.

The ‘Irishman’ Lennon during 2020, based on statistics was the straightest thrower on the circuit with the least amount of stray darts. He’s always been a reliable player capable of moments of brilliance as we witnessed in 2019 partnering William O’Connor as Ireland reached the World Cup of Darts Final losing to the Scottish duo of Peter Wright and Gary Anderson.

2021 however hasn’t been such a good year for him. He started the season well enough reaching two Quarter-Finals on the floor, both in the first ten events but he’s lost in the first round in six of the most recent seven floor events and he comes into this on the back of ten defeats in his last eleven matches, he comes into this in need of a confidence boost.

Madars Razma isn’t in fantastic form himself, winning just two of his last nine matches but at times he’s shown much more than his Irish opponent. He hit nine darters on consecutive days in late October, reached the Semi-Final of Players Championship 26, had a decent run to the Last 32 of the UK Open in March and claimed the notable scalp of Nathan Aspinall in the televised Nordic Darts Masters in September.

They both have similar seasonal averages but we’ve seen more from the Latvian Razma in glimpses this year. He just about starts favourite and I think that’s fair enough in a tight game to call.

Prediction: Madars Razma to Win

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Scott Mitchell vs Chris Landman

Match due to start at 1:30pm

Two former BDO players clash on the biggest stage of all. Mitchell a PDC Tour Card Holder is a former BDO World Champion back in 2015 whereas Landman, who came through the West European Qualifier had his best run at the 2020 BDO World Championships reaching the Quarter-Finals before losing to the winner that year, Wayne Warren.

‘Scotty Dog’ Mitchell has had a decent year on the circuit reaching four Quarter-Finals in the floor events and reached the Last 32 of the UK Open, pushing Michael Van Gerwen all the way but ultimately coming up just short, losing 10-8. His seasonal average is a very good 93.31 and no one hits more scores of 100+ per leg than him at 2.49, he really is a consistent thrower.

Chris Landman came through the West European Qualifier beating Mats Gies in the final 6-2 with a match average of 81.57 and event average of 86.78. That’s not particularly impressive but he did beat three tour card holders to get through that event in Niels Zonneveld, Geert De Vos and Jelle Klaaasen and that’s a difficult route in anyone’s book. This will be a complete clash of styles. It pits speedster Landman against Mitchell who is notoriously slow at times. I think that will play straight into Mitchell’s hands and he’ll grind out the victory, a stat particularly pertinent in this respect is that Mitchell is the most likely player on Tour to win a game despite averaging lower than his opponent.

Prediction: Scott Mitchell to Win -1.5 Sets

Chas Barstow vs John Norman Jnr

Match due to start at 2:30pm

Chas Barstow has qualified for this event through the Pro Tour Order of Merit despite not being a Tour Card Holder. He managed to play in every Players Championship event during 2021 reaching the Quarter-Final on two occasions.

That was also enough for him to qualify for the Players Championship Finals at the end of November; that ended in defeat in the opening round to Brendan Dolan despite him averaging 94.42. He also featured in the UK Open in March coming through his first two match before losing to John Brown 6-3 in the Last 96.

His seasonal average on the Players Championship Tour is 91.33, he’s hit 107 180’s and won 50% of the legs he’s played. He’s definitely a player not to be dismissed lightly.

John Norman Jnr is making his PDC World Championship but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the CDC Canadian Tour Winner. He’s a character for sure and isn’t afraid of ruffling a few feathers on stage with exuberant celebrations. We last saw him on our TV stage in the US Darts Masters back in 2018 when he lost 6-2 to Daryl Gurney averaging an excellent 93.41.

This is yet again another tough match to call and the experienced Canadian may be capable of causing an upset. I’m taking him on the handicap with +1.5 Sets.

Prediction: John Normal Jnr to Win +1.5 Sets

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Daryl Gurney vs Ricky Evans/Nitin Kumar

Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney comes into this event 22nd seed having been as high as the number four seed back in 2018.

Whilst he’s not been at his brilliant best in 2021 there’s been signs in recent months that he’s beginning to hit a bit of form. He reached the Quarter-Final of the Players Championship Finals, the most recent event before the Worlds before losing to eventual finalist, Ryan Searle.

Should he record a 100+ average in this match it will be the first time this year he’s managed to record a ton plus averages in three consecutive matches. He was a Quarter-Finalist last year, losing a terrific match against eventual champion Gerwyn Price, in a last leg shoot out.

His seasonal average is a 94.60, his 180 per leg ratio is 0.28 per leg and his doubles percentage on stage is 37.50%. All fair enough without being outstanding but on his day you just know he’s capable of so much more.

His opponent in this final game of the afternoon session will be the winner of Ricky Evans and Nitin Kumar on the opening night. For readers of my preview of night one you’ll have noticed that I’ve gone for Evans to win that game.

There’s no doubt that he’s the more likely opponent. He’s been beaten in this event the last two years by Michael Van Gerwen 4-0 on each occasion. He played very well last year, averaging 100+ in defeat but there was nothing he could do to match MVG during that match.

He’s not had the best of years and if Daryl Gurney turns up in the form we saw from him at the Players Championship Finals, he’s going to struggle here. I think the Northern Irishman will prevail here regardless of who his opponent is.

William O’Connor vs Danny Lauby Jnr

Match due to start at 7:10pm

The opening game of the night session is quite an intriguing tie between William O’Connor and Danny Lauby Jnr.

Lauby Jnr is a CDC American Tour qualifier and his first round game last year against Ryan Searle was one of the best games of that round. He lost 3-2 but pushed him all the way and looked impressive at times winning all seven legs he won in 18 darts or fewer, the problem was he only managed to break his opponent in one of the ten legs he played against the darts, ultimately his downfall.

O’Connor also lost a thriller last year when he lost 3-2 to Daryl Gurney in the second round after defeating Niels Zonneveld in the opening round. He produced a tremendous fightback having trailed 2-0 in sets early on to level the tie 2-2 but faded tamely in the deciding sets, losing that set 3-0.

Whilst he hasn’t had the most fruitful of campaigns he’s looked much better of late. A semi-finalist at Players Championship 29, losing to Nathan Aspinall, he also claimed a couple of decent scalps in Chris Dobey and Krzysztof Ratajski at the Players Championship Finals before losing to Jose De Sousa 10-7 in the Last 16.

A winner in ten of his last fifteen matches he’s coming in to form at just the right time and this former World Cup Finalist should be taken to win a close encounter, in quite possibly a last set decider.

Prediction: William O’Connor to Win 3-2

Ryan Meikle vs Fabian Schmutzler

Match due to start at 8:00pm

Sixteen year old Fabian Schmutzler qualified for this through the European Development Tour, a feat that’s even more remarkable when you consider he was too young to play the first weekend so he was only eligible to play six of the twelve events.

What he did was amazing, he reached three finals, winning two of them. Whilst his tour average of 84.29 probably leaves him with a bit to find he probably has much more to offer. In recent years we witnessed another German youngster, Nico Kurz play some amazing darts at Ally Pally and have a decent run. If he approaches the game with the same amount of confidence as Kurz did we could witness a shock here.

His opponent Ryan Meikle is the more experienced campaigner and despite giving a good account of himself last year, he lost 3-0 to Keegan Brown in the opening round, probably deserving more out of the game than he got.

He has shown that ability at times this year including a Quarter Final run at Players Championship 25 but we’ve also witnessed the inconsistency of him too. At the recent Players Championship Finals he produced an amazing display in the opening round, averaging 108.76 to defeat an excellent Dirk Van Duijvenbode 6-5.

He then lost to Gary Anderson in the next round 6-2, with an average of just 84.00, in fact in seven of his last eight matches he’s averaged 89 or below.

This alone is enough for me to take a chance on Schmutzler to upset the odds here and claim the victory.

Prediction: Fabian Schmutzler to Win

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Ron Meulenkamp vs Lisa Ashton

Match due to start at 9:00pm

Meulenkamp will come into this game strong favourite but he’s not been in the greatest of form in recent months winning just five of his last 18 matches since August. He did however manage to win their only previous encounter this year in June by 6 legs to 2.

His seasonal average of 91.48 may be nothing to shout home about but he does remain one of the big 180 hitters. His 180 per leg ratio is an excellent 0.29 per leg and he came through a tough first round match last year against Boris Krcmar 3-1 despite being clearly unsettled by his Croatian opponent.

Ashton qualified for this event by finishing runner up on the Women’s Series Order of Merit and will be making her third appearance in the event. She will be buoyed on by the crowd and will have to call on all that support if she’s to advance here and claim her first victory in the Worlds after defeats to Jan Dekker and Adam Hunt previously.

The ‘Lancashire Rose’ is averaging some five points below her opponent over the course of the year at 86.41 with a 180 per leg ratio half that Meulenkamp’s too at 0.14 per leg but we have seen at times she’s more than capable, especially back at the UK Open in Match where she averaged 100.34 on TV beating Aaron Beeney 6-2. I think Ron ‘The Bomb’ will hold himself together after any early nerves and run out an easy enough winner as his he starts to find those big three treble visits.

Prediction: Ron Meulenkamp to Hit the Most 180’s on the Handicap -2.5

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Gary Anderson vs Adrian Lewis/Matt Campbell

I’m sure Matt Campbell will forgive most darts fans who’ve stated that they’re looking forward to seeing Gary Anderson play Adrian Lewis as early as the second round in what really is an eagerly awaited clash.

In my daily preview for the previous night I suggested Lewis versus Campbell could be very close and expect whoever prevails to give Gary Anderson a good game too.

Over the past few years ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has picked the events he travels to and as a result he’s not picked up the titles like in previous campaigns. Similar remarks were made about him prior to this tournament last year and he surprised many – perhaps including himself – by reaching the final and finishing runner-up to Gerwyn Price.

A dual and back to back winner of this event he finds himself outside the Top 8 in the betting but you can never write him off. He’s been beaten by his old adversary, Michael Van Gerwen in the last two televised events but the ill-tempered defeat to him at the Grand Slam of Darts demonstrated he’s still got it.

His seasonal average of 95.25 is respectable albeit a bit lower than we’re used to but he’ll need to improve his doubles percentage of 35.25% and 180 per leg ratio of 0.26 to go deep in the event this year.

If he does face Lewis, these pair met in the opening event of the year, The Masters and it was ‘Jackpot’ who came out on top 10-8. This has a little more meaning to it and I’d expect Anderson based on what we’ve seen on a more consistent basis to win 3-1 if those pair clashed. If he ends up playing Campbell I’d probably expect him to win a bit more convincingly, perhaps 3-0 but he is known to throw in an odd stinker every now and then so these wouldn’t be confident scoreline suggestions.