Belgium bid for World Cup of Darts Glory

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Belgium are among the leading contenders for this year's World Cup of Darts in Austria.

Kim Huybrechts

The Salzburgarena hosts this year’s World Cup of Darts, with 32 countries making the journey to Austria.

Scotland are the defending champions after beating Ireland in the final last year, but Peter Wright and Gary Anderson will not defend the title, as both players withdrew from the event. John Henderson and Robert Thornton have stepped in to represent the Scots but they have lost their seeding for the tournament.

The eight seeded nations are England, Wales, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Austria, with Dutch pair of Michael van Gerwen and Danny Noppert heading the betting at 11/5.

The Netherlands have an excellent record in the World Cup but three of their world titles have come when Raymond van Barneveld was paired with ‘MVG’ and, at the prices, this year’s duo can be opposed.

Smith and Cross representing England

Four-time champions England can call on 2019 World Championship runner-up Michael Smith and 2018 Alexandra Palace hero Rob Cross. However, ‘Voltage’ has struggled to reproduce that sort of form for sometime and ‘Bully Boy’ isn’t operating at his optimum either.

There are some decent non-seeded outfits in this year’s event and the Filipino pair Lourence Ilagan and Noel Malicdem are certainly one of those. Malicdem showed what he can do when beating Rowby-John Rodriguez and running Wright close at the World Championship last year.

Cross and Smith did beat the Philippines in last year’s event but there wasn’t much to separate the sides in terms of averages.

England could have certainly hoped for a softer first-round draw and backing the Philippines in the +2.5 legs handicap market at 20/29 looks appealing.

Concentrate on the Top Half

The top half of the draw certainly seems to be the weaker section with big-hitters Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and the Netherlands all housed in the bottom quarters.

Even the likes of Poland, with Krzysztof Ratajski and Krzysztof Kciuk, and South Africa’s Devon Petersen could be competitive in that section of the draw.

Brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts took Belgium to the final in 2013, and with recent World Matchplay winner Dimitri van den Bergh replacing Ronny, they look to have a strong pairing.

Huybrechts can Inspire Belgium

Kim Huybrechts is a fiery character, who is sure to be well motivated for this competition and ‘Dancing Dimitri’ is capable of beating anyone on his day.

Belgium really shouldn’t have any problems with either of their first two opponents, Czech Republic and Hong Kong or China, and they make plenty of each-way appeal at 9/1.

*All odds correct at time of writing

An experienced sports journalist, Henry’s knowledge spans across a number of different areas, including darts and snooker.

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