Huybrechts brothers can cause European upsets
With only the top eight players in the world seeded at the European Championship then there are some really tasty first round contests thrown up and a few that are really difficult to call especially in the short best of 11 legs format that the first round is played over.
Tournament favourites Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor should not have too many troubles against Kurt van de Rijck and the unpredictable Vincent van der Voort, but there are some big names who will be cursing those who made the draw.
Reigning champion Simon Whitlock will be one of those with him having to take on the Hurricane Kim Huybrechts first up. Now in the top 16 in the world the Belgian is a match for anyone and has every chance of beating the Wizard who has been out of form of late at 6/5 with Sporting Bet.
Another high-class affair in the opening round sees Mervyn King take on Ronnie Baxter in a clash that has being played out for 16 years now ever since they first met on the Lakeside World Championship stage. King has a very good record against the Rocket but has not looked at his best of late whilst the Lancastrian has been playing pretty well. Most of Baxter’s losses to King have come on the floor as well whilst he can certainly compete with the King on the stage. Baxter looks a pretty good bet at 5/4 again with Sporting Bet.
Another potential odds-against winner is the man who tops the Scandinavian Darts Corporation order of merit, Jani Haavisto who plays Justin Pipe in round one. Not too many months ago this would have been a nailed on win for the Force but he has had an under-whelming season thus far to say the least with a number of first round exits on his record. The Finn will have to be playing near his best but he will have put in the work ahead of a rare chance at a major for him and could capitalise on the out of form Force. Haavisto is 9/4 with Bet Victor to make it into the second round and could prove a profitable punt.
Finally on the hunt for value the clash between Stuart Kellet and Ronny Huybrechts could just provide it. Both are becoming very tricky opponents on the PDC tour and they have each picked up some decent scalps this season and although Kellet is the one with the brighter future, Huybrechts is more than capable of causing an upset over a short format. The man known as the Rebel is 6/4 with Boyle Sports and again will have to be at his best but can certainly do it.