Rob Eddy's tips for round three at Alexandra Palace include a tricky night for defending champion Michael Smith.
The PDC World Championship takes a break for the Christmas period, but there is no need to panic as the action returns to Alexandra Palace for some cracking third-round ties, starting on December 27.
Shaggy can solve the mystery
There has been a lot to like about Scott Williams’ performances to reach the third round and Shaggy looks a nice price when he takes on Martin Schindler.
The Boston battler was an impressive 3-1 winner over Haruki Muramatsu in round one and that was followed by a fantastic 3-0 triumph over seventh seed Danny Noppert.
Williams averaged 94 in that second-round victory over the Dutchman, but the performance was more devastating than those numbers suggest. Shaggy hit seven 180s, 31 scores of more than 100 and was 50 percent on the doubles.
A repeat of that level of performance will make Williams extremely difficult to beat and Schindler may not have the answers. The German put up a 96.93 average against Jermaine Wattimena last time out, but that came against a well below-par Dutchman and the Wall could face a tougher test in round three.
Razma can trouble defending champion
Michael Smith averaged 100.09 in a thrilling 3-2 second-round victory over Kevin Doets but it would be unwise to place too much standing on that performance.
Bully Boy is the defending world champion, but there have been a string of early exits from the major televised tournaments this season and the St Helens man’s form doesn’t appear to be anywhere near where it was in this event last year.
Madars Razma played well in a 3-1 win over the improving Mike de Decker and there was enough in that performance to suggest the Latvian could cause Smith problems.
Maximum 180 potential in high-class contest
Ross Smith and Chris Dobey clash in one of the highlights of the third round and the duo could deliver a Christmas classic.
Smith hit seven maximums and 40 shots of 100+ in four sets in his second-round victory over Niels Zonneveld, while Dobey smashed in 10 180s in five sets against William O’Connor.
That was a seriously impressive display from Hollywood, who averaged 103.09, and there could be more of the same against Smudger.
Smith and Dobey are both inside the top six most frequent 180 hitters on the tour this year and getting long on maximums looks the play.
The line is at 16.5, which is fairly high, but this is likely to be a closely contested best-of-seven-sets game and plenty of legs should lead to plenty of big scores.