European Championship Tips: Debutants continue to impress

Luke Humphries Darts
Luke Humphries is enjoying his European Championship debut

Florian Hempel produced the biggest shock of the opening round and Abigail Davies is expecting European Championship debutants to continue to do well on day three...

"Favourite Gerwyn Price is 11/4 to win the tournament but after delivering a sensational performance in the opening round, Michael van Gerwen's odds have shortened to 4/1."

Favourite Gerwyn Price is 11/4 to win the tournament but after delivering a sensational performance in the opening round, Michael van Gerwen's odds have shortened to 4/1.

Debut delight

As well as Hempel, Luke Humphries, Ryan Searle, Adam Gawlas, Damon Heta and Willy Borland enjoyed success in their maiden appearances in this tournament.

From 2-0 down, 24-year-old Borland produced a fantastic display to beat Simon Whitlock with some sublime finishes. Even though The Wizard lost his way in the match, it would be doing Borland a disservice to attribute the win to that.

Once he settled into the occasion, the Scot thoroughly enjoyed himself up on the big stage, taking out 121 and 142 on his way to a 6-3 win.

Next up for him is a man who seems to like playing in European Championship events, Joe Cullen.

joe cullen getty.jpg

When I say enjoy, I mean that relatively. Cullen himself admits that he plays this sport because he's good at it, not because he derives pleasure from it.

He doesn't watch it, pays no attention to it outside of his own games and the occasional struggle to apply himself is because it's not always easy to motivate yourself to do something you don't particularly enjoy.

These two have only met once before and it was the Rockstar who came out on top. The bet that stands out to me in this one is either player to checkout 120+ at 2/5.

Humphries to reach the quarter-final

Coming through his first round match against Lewy Williams, Jose de Sousa is currently quite a generous 6/1 to be crowned champion in Salzburg.

The Special One has recently ditched his glasses and there have been conflicting stories about his eyesight. Something I'm yet to get to the bottom of.

He told me in Leicester that since finding out he has diabetes, he feels his vision is better without glasses but I've also heard that he has had laser eye surgery. Who knows? Maybe not even Jose!

On the oche, he has been indifferent over recent weeks. Even in his victory over Williams on Thursday, I felt he was there for the taking.

We all know how ruthless and relentless the Portuguese man can be, but he just isn't firing at the moment.

He faces Luke Humphries on Saturday afternoon and even though de Sousa has won four of their five matches to date, I'm backing Cool Hand Luke to triumph at 29/20.

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