As we move into the second round of the World Cup of Darts, the favourites for the title remain the same but Abigail Davies predicts an early exit for 2019 Champions Scotland...
"The Belgians always relish the opportunity to play in the World Cup. They’ve reached the final once before, back in 2013.W I’m picking Huybrechts and Van den Bergh as my tournament runners up this year at 11/4"
The opening round of the World Cup of Darts usually provides an upset or two but this year, not a single seed has fallen at the first hurdle.
Poland were stand out performers in the opening round
The world class talent that is Krzysztof Ratajski was at his clinical best as he and Krzysztof Kciuk posted a 105 average in their victory over the Czech Republic - the second highest ever in the first round of the World Cup.
Next up for them - Scotland - who eased through their opening fixture. I think this one will be a close run contest and require the doubles match to settle it. I'm going for Poland to edge past Scotland at 6/4
Chemistry is key and Belgium again show that they have it in abundance
Nobody epitomises the delight taken from this tournament quite like the Belgian team, and as far as Kim Huybrechts is concerned, it's a tournament that really does bring out the best in him.
Dimitri Van den Bergh's exploits over recent months have seen him continue to rise up the rankings - a real crowd pleaser, but one I believe benefited from playing behind closed doors during lockdown. Having to rein in the dancing and playing up to the adoring fans and instead focus solely on his darts, improved his game further - thus why we have also seen him go on to win his first floor title this year too.
The Belgians always relish the opportunity to play in the World Cup. They've reached the final once before, back in 2013. I'm picking Huybrechts and Van den Bergh as my tournament runners up this year at 11/4
Australia playing with additional pride and purpose
Australia have never lost a first round match at the World Cup. The ever-present Simon Whitlock, joined this year by one of my picks to win a major in the next year or so, Damon Heta.
They comfortably progressed into the last 16 with a 5-0 demolition of Italy, as "There's only one Kyle Anderson" bellowed around the Sparkassen Arena - In tribute, of course, to the late Australian darts player.
You could see from the emotions etched on their faces throughout the match that they are playing for The Original as much as anyone, but their heartfelt celebrations showed that they'll use his memory as motivation.
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