Nothing rings in the approaching Christmas festivities quite like the beginning of the William Hill World Darts Championship.

Full of fancy dress, celebrity guests, great storylines and high-quality darts, it once again promises to be one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.

Ahead of the tournament’s opening night on Friday, we preview some of the key players and bets to watch out for.

Michael van Gerwen

There’s only one place to start, and that’s with defending champion and tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen, who’s looking to seal a fourth world championship crown. It’s hard to look past someone who is the dominant player in world darts, despite his 5/4 price.

MVG is also available at 11/4 to win the world title and have a tournament nine-dart finish, which could offer better value than the outright market. If you don’t fancy Van Gerwen to win, then you can back The Field over MVG at 8/13.

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price is in sensational form and should be Van Gerwen’s biggest rival. His confidence will be sky high after defending his Grand Slam of Darts title last month, beating Van Gerwen in the final.

If he can continue his recent form in this one, he has every chance of becoming world champion at 5/1. He’s a staggering 35/1 to win the tournament and have a nine-dart finish, which could see some market support given Price’s reasonable 180 record.

Rob Cross

Quarter Three of the draw is arguably the most interesting of the four, given that Rob Cross is rather out of form. He’ll likely have to contend with Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright for top spot in this quarter and it will be far from a given that Cross makes it through.

Cross and Wright are currently joint-favourites to win Quarter Three at 11/4, but Chisnall seems to be the way to go at 9/2. He is 28/1 to go all the way, with Cross at 16/1 and Wright at 14/1.

Glen Durrant

One of the most popular players on the circuit, Glen Durrant is a seven-time major winner of BDO events, but he is yet to win a major on the PDC tour. He has reached the semi-finals of the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts, and will be hoping to go one better here.

On his day, Durrant can beat anyone and 33/1 is well-priced for a punter who fancies more of an outsider. He’s also available at 13/2 to win Quarter Four.

Other Selections

  • No tournament 170 checkout at 10/1
  • Nationality of winner – English at 3/1
  • Gerwyn Price nine-dart finish in the tournament – 9/1
  • Exactly one nine-dart finish in the tournament – 6/4

Check out all the latest darts betting odds at William Hill.