World Darts Championship: Thursday afternoon third-round tips
These are our best bets for the next round of matches at Alexandra Palace, including yet another upset in the final game of the session.
TONI ALCINAS v DARREN WEBSTER
Webster to win and Alcinas to hit the most 180s –
Steady scoring was the key to Webster blowing Simon Whitlock away in the previous round, with 16 scores of 140 helping to ensure that he had 39 attempts at double compared to the Australian’s 17.
But that did not stop him being outscored in the maximums department, despite romping to a 4-1 win.
Alcinas hit eight 180s against Kevin Munch, so is capable of coming out on top in that regard, though the Spaniard is unlikely to have quite enough to ruin the Demolition Man’s chances.
MENSUR SULJOVIC v DIMITRI VAN DEN BERGH
Suljovic to win, Van den Bergh to hit the most 180s and score the highest checkout –
Suljovic has been steady rather than spectacular so far, twice having to come from a set down against Robert Thornton before ending up with an average in the 90s.
Dimitri van den Bergh, on the other hand, has shown flashes of real class – hitting five 180s against Stephen Bunting and taking out a 126 finish to land the third set against Jan Dekker.
Champions League winner Suljovic should have enough to progress, but don’t be surprised if the World Youth champion steals plenty of the limelight along the way.
JOHN HENDERSON v ROB CROSS
John Henderson to beat Rob Cross –
Both these players knocked out higher seeds in the second round, though it was Henderson who claimed the bigger scalp in dispatching Daryl Gurney.
That makes his price to progress to the quarter-finals rather appealing, particularly considering that Cross had a lower average and worse checkout percentage in squeezing past the erratic Michael Smith.
They each won one of their two Players Championship meetings towards the end of this year with Henderson shading the aggregate score 11-10, so it’s worth chasing the value on offer by backing the more experienced player to edge this one.