Price and Wright set the Standard

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Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright are among the favourites after strong starts to the PDC World Darts Championship.

Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price impressing at Ally Pally.

Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright have both cruised through to the third round of the PDC World Darts Championship in the early skirmishes at Alexandra Palace, cementing their position among the outright market leaders.

Price, the ante-post tournament favourite, lost a set against Ritchie Edhouse on the opening night, but a 101.28 average and a 3-1 success went down as an excellent session of work for the much-fancied Welshman, who became world champion for the first time in the last Ally Pally gathering.

Wright was suffering in the lead-up to his second-round contest against Ryan Meikle – the 2020 world champion did not react well to his Covid booster jab and had to spend a few days away from the practice board – but the rust was not enough to stop the Scot advancing comfortably.

A 3-0 victory and an average of 92.19 will have relieved Wright, who should get stronger as the event wears on. Price has gone into the weekend as 7/2 World Championship favourite, while Wright has shortened to 13/2.

Van Gerwen Seeking Form

The Saturday-night action sees three-time world champion, Michael van Gerwen, start his quest for a fourth title.

Van Gerwen, who has been well below his usual standards this year and failed to win any of the major events, is just 1/16 to defeat Chas Barstow.

Van Gerwen, though, often lets a set slip away in his opening match of the World Championship and Barstow was impressive enough in his first-round victory over John Norman to suggest he could pinch a set against MvG.

Van Gerwen is 12/5 to triumph by a 3-1 scoreline. Van Gerwen will be on the oche late – around 10pm – and just prior to that Rowby-John Rodriguez gets his campaign underway. Rodriguez has always been full of potential, but at the age 27 he is still waiting for his first significant PDC title.

The Austrian has been unlucky with the draw in many world championships – getting Raymond van Barneveld on his debut and twice being drawn against Dave Chisnall – but this time a great opportunity has presented itself.

Rodriguez, who got to the final of the World Cup of Darts in September, looks a strong favourite against Nick Kenny at 20/33. Rodriguez can be backed at 4/1 to beat Kenny 3-0.

Pick of the Sunday-afternoon options may be former world champion Stephen Bunting against Ross Smith. The 20/27 Bunting seems a more than fair price given how good his A-game is – the Bullet is so dangerous when in the groove.

Sherrock Eyeing Flying Start

Match of Sunday night sees the Queen of Alexandra Palace, Fallon Sherrock, make her first appearance of this World Championship.

Sherrock is 4/5 to defeat Steve Beaton, which seems a juicy price considering how well she performed in the Grand Slam of Darts a month ago.

Sherrock thrashed Mensur Suljovic in the knockout stages of the Grand Slam, before pushing Wright hard in the quarter-finals, eventually losing 16-13.

Beaton, a 57-year-old who is edgy on the oche at the best of times, may find the pink panther and her adoring fans to hot to handle.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter and is one of the most well-known tipsters in the country. Steve’s columns featuring golf betting tips have been must-read material for years.
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