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Other SportsPDC World Darts Championship, Day Eight: Preview, how to watch, order of...

PDC World Darts Championship, Day Eight: Preview, how to watch, order of play and predictions

The Main Event

Friday sees a host of big names join the party at Alexandra Palace, most notably the five-time former champion Raymond van Barneveld.

The Dutchman, now 56, is back following a short-term and ill-advised retirement and ready to take on the new crop of superstars.

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Van Barneveld has re-married and regained his love of the game, and is hoping it all comes together when he takes on Pole Radek Szaganski, who beat Marko Kantele in round one.

“This is what it is all about. In all fairness, the rest of the year is nothing in comparison,” he told the PA news agency. “This is the world title. It means you are the man.

“I believe I can still win, absolutely. But you have to be realistic, there are better players out there at the moment. I am older, I am not a young pup who wants to win everything.

“The worlds is special for me, I believe it. All the other players know what they can do and if they draw Raymond van Barneveld then I am pretty sure they are not happy. They know if I show up I can go all the way.

“The World Championship is something else. You can win other titles, but this is so special. You are the world champion, everyone else looks up to you.”

Van Barneveld is followed on stage by a mouthwatering clash between world number 17, and Masters champion, Chris Dobey and Ireland’s William O’Connor, who thrashed Bhav Patel without dropping a leg in the first round.

‘I know Chris and I know what he’s capable of,” said O’Connor.

“I’m expecting him to play very well and I will be ready for that. I hope I can either replicate this performance [against Patel] or do a little bit better. I know what I can do, so I just got to do it.”

Order of Play (all matches are in round two)

Afternoon session (from 1230 UK time)
Brendan Dolan v Mickey Mansell or Xiaochen Zong
Jose de Sousa v Jeffrey De Graaf
Krzysztof Ratajski v Jamie Hughes
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Boris Krcmar

Evening session (from 1900 UK time)
Dimitri van den Bergh v Florian Hempel
Martin Schindler v Jermaine Wattimena
Raymond van Barneveld v Radek Szaganski
Chris Dobey v William O’Connor

How to watch

The PDC World Championship is being screened on Sky Sports in the UK.
You can watch the afternoon session on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event from 1230. The evening session is on Sky Sports Arena at 1900 and Sky Sports Main Event at 2200.

Predictions

Despite his advancing years, Van Barneveld appears a man on a mission. Is he good enough to go all the way? Almost certainly not, but he will pose a tricky opponent for any of the big names should he find his rhythm.
He ought to be too good for Szaganski and the draw has opened up for him following Peter Wright’s exit.
Dobey could find O’Connor a tricky opponent but expect the Englishman to edge it.
Elsewhere, De Sousa, Ratajski, Van den Bergh should all progress.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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