A staple of the Christmas sport viewing, the PDC Darts World Championships is live from Alexandra Palace. Starting on the 15th of December with the final on the 3rd of January, it brings together the top players in the world.
Michael Van Gerwen
Three times a winner of this event in 2014, 2017 and 2019, his scoring average in the 2017 final of 107.79 is second only to Phil Taylor’s 110.94 in 2009. His form dipped for the majority of 2021 but he has bounced back this year with wins in the Premier League, World Matchplay and Players Championship Finals. The favourite in the book but is short enough despite his classy pedigree.
Landed this event in 2021. He made an early exit the first five times he competed here, making the semis in 2020 and the quarters in 2022. Officially the world number 1 but it’s hard to know how he will perform. Not a crowd favourite, it’s always a fine mental balancing act that Price needs to play even before he throws a single dart.
Runner-up in 2019 and 2022, he filled the same spot in October at the European Championships in Dortmund. He finally got the seconditis monkey off his back in Wolverhampton when claiming the Grand Slam of Darts, though that record takes him to just 1-8 in major finals. Looks sure to make another solid claim at the prize if he takes confidence from that success.
The defending champion, he also took home the title in 2020. One of the most recognisable players on the tour, he has not slowed down in his early fifties, in fact throwing some of the best darts of his life in recent years. It remains to be seen how the recent illness of his wife affects his mental state on the biggest stage of all.
Available at as big as 80/1 in mid October, Rock has seen continual support. Just 21 years old, he won the World Youth Championship just a couple of weeks ago and looks a precocious talent in the making. At 16/1, however, any value that was around has long gone but he has the potential to show up well.
A quarter-finalist in this event in 2019, 2020 and 2022, he made his first premier event semi-final at the Grand Slam in November following the birth of a son in October. Still only 27 years old, he has the potential and perhaps the momentum to build on his best ever finish this time around.
A massive outsider, with 400/1 available at the time of writing. Just 18 years old, she is looking to follow in the flights of Fallon Sherrock at this tournament. It’s been a remarkable rise for Greaves through the women’s game, with a number of the top male players not keen to take her on. It would be the shock of all shocks to see her win this but a similar run to Sherrock would not be a surprise.
A more open tournament than 5/2 the field would suggest. With a win finally under his belt, dual finalist Michael Smith makes most appeal of the favourites at about 7/1. At a slightly bigger price, Luke Humphries is worth a nibble at 14/1 to get past the quarter-final stage for the first time.