Dan Fitch looks at three matches from Friday's action at the PDC World Championship and fancies Luke Humphries to win in straight sets against Paul Lim...
"Humphries won the 2019 World Youth Championship and has reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship proper, in each of the last two years."
PDC World Championship
Friday 18 December
Live on Sky Sports Arena
We are starting to see some of the top players play their first games at the 2021 World Championship and the reigning Premier League champion Glen Durrant booked his place in the last-32 on Wednesday night.
Durrant beat Diogo Portela 3-0, but was not happy with his performance. His form has taken a dip since winning the Premier League, with the 50-year old having fallen ill with COVID this year. Durrant looked a shadow of himself at the recent Grand Slam of Darts, but was better against Portella, even if he did not meet his own standards.
With Durrant having been drawn in the wide open 2nd Quarter, there could be value in him winning that at 10.09/1. For now he remains an outsider to win the World Championship at 55.054/1, but Durrant certainly has the talent to do so if he finds his best game.
World Youth Champion can push in-form Van Duijvenbode
Dirk van Duijvenbode 1.282/7 v Bradley Brooks 4.47/2
Start time, 18:15
Since coming from nowhere to reach the final of the Grand Prix, Van Duijvenbode has made the quarter-finals of two more majors and risen to 43 in the world rankings. It just shows you what confidence can do for a player and Van Duijvenbode's opponent should have also had a boost in that department.
The 20-year old Brooks has recently beat Joe Davis to win the World Youth Championship, which saw him qualify for this tournament. In the only previous meeting between this pair, Brooks beat Van Duijvenbode 6-4.
That was two years ago and Van Duijvenbode has obviously made huge strides since then, but that result and the recent success of Brooks suggests that the youngster could make a game of this. Back Van Duijvenbode to win 3-1 at 3.39/4.
Humphries will beat history maker
Luke Humphries 1.232/9 v Paul Lim 4.67/2
Start time, 20:05
Humphries won the 2019 World Youth Championship and has reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship proper, in each of the last two years. Should he progress from this match he will meet Dimitri van den Bergh in the second round and though Humphries knocked the Belgian out of the tournament last year, it looks a tougher encounter twelve months later, with Van den Bergh having won the World Matchplay in July.
First up is Lim. 'The Singapore Slinger' is now 66-years old and featuring in his thirteenth PDC World Championship. Back in 1990 he made darting history, by becoming the first player to hit a nine-dart finish at the BDO World Championship, en-route to the quarter-finals.
Last year Lim lost 3-0 in the first round to Luke Woodhouse and he could face another heavy defeat against young opposition. Humphries is 2.8815/8 to win 3-0.
Wade will lose 180s battle, but win the war
James Wade 1.42/5 v Callam Rydz 3.39/4
Start time, 21:00
Wade was one of my pre-tournament tips. Having recently reached the final of the Grand Slam of Darts, Wade looks capable of at least making the quarter-finals here and is priced at 7/4 to do so, on the Sportsbook.
His second round match comes against Rydz, who Wade beat 6-3 in their only past encounter, back in the summer of 2019. The 22-year old Rydz is a rising talent who beat James Bailey 3-1 in the first round.
Rydz hit four 180s against Bailey and that could be key to finding some value for a Wade win. Wade's game is built on being consistently steady rather than spectacular and you can back Rydz to score the most 180s and lose the match at 6/5.
<strong>Dan Fitch PDC World Championship 2021</strong>
Staked: 6.00 pts
Returned: 5.58 pts
P/L: -0.42 pts