By William Hill
Last Updated: 17th December 2019
It’s already been a fantastic William Hill World Darts Championship, with two of the world’s top four having been eliminated in Rob Cross and Michael Smith, while we’ve also said goodbye to Raymond van Barneveld.
As we head into day five of the competition on Tuesday, we preview some of the key action from Alexandra Palace.
Ratajski to ease to third round
Krzysztof Ratajski is the favourite to beat Zoran Lerchbacher in this second-round clash at 2/7. The Polish Eagle made an explosive start to his PDC career but hasn’t been able to make an impression in the majors. It feels as if it’s a case of when, not if, for Ratajski to win a major and this could be a big steppingstone in his career.
He’s participated in the World Darts Championship twice before but exited in the first round on both occasions. He’s improved greatly since then, however, and is genuinely regarded as a dark horse in this competition with a long price of 66/1 to win the whole thing.
Lerchbacher enjoyed first-round success with a 3-2 win against Jamie Hughes. It was a messy encounter with both men seeming to be avoiding the doubles rather than finishing a leg. The Hypercane urged the crowd to join in during an effort to hit a checkout but that proved futile as he still struggled to sink his arrows into the doubles. However, the Austrian managed to be the first man to three sets and progressed to the next round.
Ratajski will have enough to prevail in impressive fashion in this one. We’ve already seen a few shock exits in the competition, but there shouldn’t be one here. If Lerchbacher wants to win this he’ll certainly need to improve from his last performance. Ratajski to win 3-2, incidentally, has enhanced odds of 4/1.
Young’s winning run to come to an end?
Darin Young caused a big upset when he sent Van Barneveld packing in the opening round on Saturday night – a shock that means Young will be facing Jeffrey de Zwaan in the second round.
De Zwaan is the number 23 seed and has impressed over the past few years with notable victories over Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis. The fast-throwing Dutchman already has two non-televised PDC titles to his name and at the age of 23, he has plenty of time to develop into one of the best in the world.
Young’s confidence will be sky high but expect to see the Ally Pally crowd turn against him once again following his defeat of Van Barneveld. Whether that will work in his favour is yet to be seen, but De Zwaan should be fancied for the win here at 2/9, with a 3-1 scoreline in his favour at 2/1 also worth a flutter.