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World Cup of Darts: Preview

All eyes will be on Frankfurt when 32 nations come together for the World Cup of Darts, with Scotland arriving as the defending champions.

Four days of darting action puts 32 pairings against each other to compete in both doubles and singles matches and one double act will be crowned world champions come the end of the event.

It's an interesting tournament and the pairs aspect of the event offers another level of intrigue.

Scottish duo Peter Wright and John Henderson are the defending champions, but it's Welsh pair Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton who head the betting at 11/8, as we take a look at the key considerations in Frankfurt.

What: World Cup of Darts

Where: Eissporthalle, Frankfurt

When: 18:30pm, Thursday 16th June 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Action

Odds: Wales 11/8, England 4/1, Netherlands 11/2, Australia 10/1, Belgium 10/1, Scotland 11/1

Horses for courses

This will be the 12th staging of the World Cup of Darts, but only four nations have ever lifted the trophy.

England and the Netherlands have each claimed the crown four times, while Scotland have a pair of victories and Wales secured the title in 2020.

Clearly, those four nations boast plenty of strength in terms of their playing pairs, but darts has never been a more global sport and perhaps the gap to other countries is starting to close.

Austria made the final of the event last year and Ireland finished runners-up in 2019. That gives hope that we may see a new name on the trophy this time around.

Changing places or more of the same?

There are some interesting selections amongst the teams this year. The Netherlands are without Michael van Gerwen this year and the Dutch don't have a fantastic record in this event since the all-conquering pair of MVG and Raymond van Barneveld was split.

However, Danny Noppert and Dirk van Duijvenbode are a high-class duo.

Scotland stick with the pair that won the title last year in Henderson and Wright. There are a whole host of Scottish players ranked above the Highlander, including the brilliant Gary Anderson, but it's clearly difficult to break up a winning side.

Wales also field a pair of previous winners. Price and Clayton lifted the trophy in 2020 and they will be looking to regain their title.

England reached the semi-finals last year, but there's another change in their line-up. James Wade keeps his place and he is joined by man of the moment Michael Smith.

Bully Boy lifted the bet365 US Masters crown earlier this month and the St Helens man recently won three Players Championship events on the bounce.

That’s a phenomenal effort and the Three Lions are likely to go well at 4/1 if Smith continues in that sort of form.

Recent World Cup of Darts Winners

YearWinning TeamPlayers
2021ScotlandPeter Wright, John Henderson
2020WalesGerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton
2019ScotlandGary Anderson, Peter Wright
2018NetherlandsMichael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld
2017NetherlandsMichael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld

Drawing conclusions

There's a conventional fixed-draw to this event and it warrants consideration. Wales head the betting, but they are on course for a potentially tricky second-round tie against Austria.

Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez made the final last year and they have a good mix of finishing and scoring power. Little John is a mercurial talent and has been playing some good stuff of late.

The Netherlands are also in the bottom half, with Wales and Austria and you can also throw in capable nations Germany, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Perhaps, the top half of the tournament represents the easier route to the latter stages of the event and England in particular look to have been handed a nice section.

The Three Lions should cruise through to the quarter-finals, where a showdown with defending champions Scotland is on the cards.

Best of the rest

Looking outside of the fancied runners, Austria could be capable of going well at 40/1, while Dimitri Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts rock up in a strong Belgium duo, but they are housed in a difficult section with capable Polish pair Krzysztof Ratajski and Sebastian Białecki potential second-round rivals.

Canada could cause a first-round surprise against an Irish side that has won just one of their last four opening World Cup contests.

Matt Campbell is an impressive performer and he is joined by former BDO World Championship finalist Jeff Smith. Campbell’s scoring power should dovetail nicely with the deadly finishing of The Silencer.

Germany showed up well last year and Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler could be set for another deep run.

Clemens has been playing some good stuff in the recent Players Championship events and the German Giant is one of the biggest scorers in the game when on-song.

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