12 Dec, 2019
Events

Ten players, including six former World Champions, will represent #TeamTarget at the PDC World Championship this year at Alexandra Palace, with every single one of them capable of playing a big role in who walks away with the Sid Waddell Trophy on New Year's Day 2020.

Rob Cross

Seeding: 2

Opening game: Kim Huybrechts or Geert Nentjes (last 64)

Title odds: 16/1 (4th fav)

The world number two sensationally won this title on debut in 2018 and has since added two more major trophies to his collection this year. "Voltage" is now the reigning World Matchplay and European Champion, but ironically has played to a higher standard in some of the tournaments he did not go on to win.

Cross was agonisingly short of topping the Premier League table, missing out on joining an elite club of Michael van Gerwen and Target's Phil Taylor, but still made the final of the event as well as the UK Open.

100 averages are expected whenever he takes to the stage, and even though he faces a quarter of the draw including players such as Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and Target teammate Raymond van Barneveld, "Voltage" will be confident of making the latter stages.

Glen Durrant

Seeding: 27

Opening game: Jose de Sousa or Damon Heta (last 64)

Title odds: 33/1

There is a chance for "Duzza" to make history at Alexandra Palace this year, as he looks to become the first player in history to hold both the BDO and PDC World Championship titles.

The three-time Lakeside winner only just made it through Q School at the start of the year, but has since achieved almost every goal he has set for himself.

Two ranking titles, semi-final runs at the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts, and a 100% record from his two meetings with Michael van Gerwen - Durrant has seized his opportunity after switching codes and makes his Ally Pally debut as one of the seeds.

A proven winner, whose grit and determination keep him involved in matches in which others might fade away, he will have to call on all his experience from the very start - as his opening clash with either Australia's World Series title winner Damon Heta or Portugal's breakthrough star Jose de Sousa could be one of the picks of the second round action.

Nathan Aspinall

Seeding: 12

Opening game: Andy Boulton or Danny Baggish (last 64)

Title odds: 40/1

A stunning breakthrough at last year's World Championship saw Nathan make the semi-finals on debut, but the manner in which he has followed up that success has been breathtaking.

"The Asp" not only claimed his first major title at the UK Open, but produced another scintillating debut on the World Series - winning the US Darts Masters in Las Vegas.

Regular runs on the ProTour have underlined Nathan as one of the hottest properties in world darts this year, and despite a potentially tricky route through his section of the draw (which includes Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski, Gary Anderson, and last year's finalist Michael Smith), "The Asp" has been one of the most-backed players for the title with the bookmakers.

Adrian Lewis

Seeding: 13

Opening game: Cristo Reyes or Lourence Ilagan (last 64)

Title odds: 100/1

"Jackpot" returned to the winners' circle in PDC darts this year, claiming his first ranking title for 18 months, but the two-time World Champion is still searching for the brilliance that took him to back-to-back titles at Alexandra Palace.

There have been signs of life from Lewis though at the most recent major events, with only Michael van Gerwen able to stop him at both the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals.

A shock loss to Germany's Kevin Munch two years ago saw Lewis tumble out of the top 20 in the world rankings, but he has fought his way back into the top 16, and a run at Ally Pally would be another big step in the rebuilding process.

If "Jackpot" can go deep, his experience of knowing how to win there may prove to be the difference.

Raymond van Barneveld

Seeding: unseeded

Opening game: Darin Young

Title odds: 150/1

It will be an emotional goodbye for "Barney" in the final tournament of his legendary professional career. 2019 has not been the fairytale farewell for which he had hoped - not yet, anyway.

A ProTour final in Wigan, a World Series final in New Zealand, and quarter-final runs in the two most recent televised events suggest that the old magic is still there… but will his emotions get in the way of it appearing at Alexandra Palace?

Raymond is realistic about his chances of claiming a sixth world title to sign off from the sport, but he also says he still believes that his dream is possible - and he will do everything in his power to give the Barney Army the goodbye they crave.

So often in the legendary Dutchman's career, it has come down to that one factor: belief.

Stephen Bunting

Seeding: 17

Opening game: Arron Monk or Jose Justicia (last 64)

Title odds: 150/1

"The Bullet" is a former World Champion in the BDO and recently produced some of the best performances of his career at the Players Championship Finals in Minehead.

After a loss of form and confidence in 2017, everything now seems to be moving in the right direction for Bunting, who has notched up two finals on the ProTour this year alongside two quarter-final runs in majors.

Bunting's best run at Alexandra Palace saw him make the quarter-finals in 2015, but he maintains he is playing better than ever before - and the St Helens man will be eyeing a potential last 16 clash with Michael van Gerwen in the post-Christmas action.

Ricky Evans

Seeding: 32

Opening game: Mark McGeeney or Matt Campbell (last 64)

Title odds: 300/1

The fastest player on the planet has shown over the last 18 months that there is far more to his game than just the speed.

"Rapid" is still searching for a first ranking title in PDC darts, but has come close this year with runs to the finals of Players Championship and Euro Tour events.

The European Championship saw him make his first major quarter-final, where he was only beaten by the eventual champion Rob Cross, but the Northamptonshire man continues to make progress in his darts career - reflected by the fact that he enters as the number 32 seed. The only downside to that?... it could be the number one seed Van Gerwen for him next if he gets through his opening tie.

Danny Baggish

Seeding: unseeded

Opening game: Andy Boulton

Title odds: 500/1

Originally from Guam but now residing in Florida, Danny is set for a debut at the World Championship after a superb win at the qualifier in Las Vegas during the summer.

The 36 year old immediately caught the eye with his fluid throwing action and scoring ability, and has produced averages in excess of 110 on the American circuit.

Darts has been crying out for a new star to emerge from North America, and Baggish may have the raw ingredients to fit the bill; if he can get past the experienced Andy Boulton in his opener, he would face Target's other Vegas champion from July, Nathan Aspinall.

Paul Lim

Seeding: unseeded

Opening game: Luke Woodhouse

Title odds: 1000/1

Respected, revered, and still incredibly competitive - the man who hit the first ever nine darter at a World Championship back in 1990 returns to the PDC World Championship after another successful year on the Asia Tour.

At 62 years old, "The Singapore Slinger" is the oldest man in the field, but picked up steel tip titles in Seoul and Hong Kong to comfortably qualify once more for Alexandra Palace.

Lim has earned his status as a fans' favourite, and they could help him produce some shocks this Christmas - with a potential second round clash against last year's finalist Michael Smith on the cards.

Mikuru Suzuki

Seeding: unseeded

Opening game: James Richardson

Title odds: 2000/1

The sixth of Target's World Champions to feature at this year's tournament, Mikuru has become a sensation in the sport.

The BDO Ladies World Title was claimed at the start of 2019, and there followed titles at the Dutch Open and the WDF World Cup.

Her soft-tip record is mind-blowing, having gone months without losing a single game, but it is her steel-tip performances that have captured the imagination.

A debut at the Grand Slam saw her fail to qualify from her group, but still win legs in each match and cause problems for defending champion Gerwyn Price.

"Miracle Mikuru" will have to be at her best, but if she is, then the Japanese star could make history by becoming the first female player to win at the PDC World Championship.

Keane Barry

Seeding: unseeded

Opening game: Vincent van der Voort

Title odds: 1000/1

"Dynamite" is a rising star in the sport who has burst onto the PDC scene in the last few months with some incredible displays on the Junior Darts Corporation circuit.

The Irish youngster was already assured of competing at Alexandra Palace in the JDC's World Championship final against Adam Gawlas, but secured his spot in the senior tournament with a dramatic comeback victory in the Irish Matchplay in Dublin.

A rapid thrower with serious scoring power, Keane has made the final of the World Youth Masters for the last three years, winning it for the first time in October. The teenager makes his debut with a clash against Vincent van der Voort, which will be quick... and could potentially be one of the ties of the first round.

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