Seven of the eight PDC stars have made it through to the last eight of the Nordic Darts Masters but the Nordic and Baltic representatives gave a good account of themselves on the opening day in Copenhagen.
Doubles almost cost Dimi
Trouble on the outer ring almost cost Dimitri Van den Bergh who admitted that he felt nervous in front of a raucous Danish crowd on Friday night.
His fourth lowest winning average in 2021 was enough to see him progress past Johan Engstrom but he will need to be more clinical against Gary Anderson in the next round.
I'm backing the Belgian to up his game and ease into the semi-final with a -2.5 handicap at 6/4.
This really is The Year of the Ferret
Jonny Clayton didn't even allow his opponent a dart at double as he won 6-0 with a thoroughly dominant and relentless display.
The Ferret has set up a clash with Peter Wright who he beat in their singles rubber at the World Cup last weekend before losing, along with Gerwyn Price, to Snakebite and John Henderson in the deciding doubles match.
I think the Welshman will come out victorious again this afternoon against Snakebite. I am also backing Clayton to go all the way and claim yet another televised tournament in 2021 at 8/1.
Razma causes the only upset
I expected a close encounter between Nathan Aspinall and Madars Razma. In a high quality contest, it was the Latvian who eventually held his nerve to pin double 8 to seal his place in the quarter-finals.
Razma missed 13 of his 19 darts at a double and that's something that'll need to improve significantly if he's to progress past World Number 3, Michael van Gerwen.
The Green Machine survived a scare against Darius Labanauskas and it's well documented that MvG hasn't won a tournament of any description for almost 10 months. I'm expecting van Gerwen to make the semi-final and back him with a handicap of -3.5 at 8/11.
Price injury could hinder progress
Gerwyn Price booked his place in the last eight but has said that he is considering pulling out of the final day due to an elbow injury that requires an injection when he arrives back in Wales.
If he does continue, the World Champion will face Fallon Sherrock after the Queen of the Palace made a winning return to the TV stage. I'm backing Price to hit the highest checkout in this one at 1/2.