The bwin World Cup Of Darts takes place at the Sporthalle in Hamburg this weekend with a record 32 nations taking part.
The tournament has only been in existence since 2010 and wasn’t contested in 2011 so it’s remarkable that it’s attracted worldwide interest so quickly and testament to the popularity of darts across the globe. Each nation’s team is made up of two top-ranked players from that country and will be a straight knockout event this year. The first and second rounds taking place on Friday and Saturday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final being completed on Sunday. There is a £200,000 prize fund up for grabs this year and the tournament has attracted some big names and some unfamiliar ones representing countries you wouldn’t normally associate with top-flight darts.
India (a general 1000/1), Russia (the same odds with Ladbrokes, Skybet and sportingbet) and Gibraltar (also a 1000/1 with sportingbet) are making their World Cup Of Darts debut but, as the odds suggest, would be surprise winners and most bookmakers agree that a final between the top two seeds, the Netherlands and England, is likely.
Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis again represent England and are bidding for a hat-trick of victories in the tournament having beaten Belgium‘s Huybrechts brothers (25/1 with sportingbet this time around) in last year’s final in Hamburg 12 months after getting the better of Australia. Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson were the Aussie pair in 2012 and have teamed up again. They are a best 12/1 and should reach the latter stages but Taylor and Lewis are preferred in the betting, with the sponsors best at 28/17. ‘The Power’ and ‘Jackpot’ won’t give up their crown without a battle but it’s difficult to get away from the Dutch.
Raymond van Barneveld was part of the Netherlands team which won the inaugural event in Houghton-le-Spring and showed he was no back number when taking the Premier League title recently, beating world champion van Gerwen in the final. Their general 6/4 quote leaves no margin for error but it will be a big surprise if they are not involved in the final.
Of the remainder, only Scotland look to have much of a chance of upsetting one of the top two seeds. World Championship finalist Peter Wright teams up with Robert Thornton and they have the class to reach finals day. The Scots are 13/2 with bwin but bookmakers don’t rate Wales. Mark Webster and Richie Burnett are 40/1 with sportingbet. BetVictor will lay you 10/3 that any other country but the Netherlands or England win Sunday’s final.