2016 PDC World Cup of Darts Preview

The PDC World Cup of Darts starts on Thursday evening from the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, 32 nations will be contesting the tournament and as usual they are comprised of teams of 2 players per nation.

This is the sixth time the competition has been held since its debut year back in 2010. Here are the semi-finalists from the five previous tournaments.

2010

Semi-finals

Netherlands (2) bt Spain

Wales (5) bt Australia (3)

Final

Netherlands (2) bt Wales (5)

 

2012

Semi-finals

England (1) bt Wales (5)

Australia (2) bt Netherlands (3)

Final

England (1) bt Australia (2)

 

2013

Semi-finals

England (1) bt Wales (5)

Belgium bt Finland

Final

England (1) bt Belgium

 

2014

Semi-finals

England (1) bt Australia (4)

Netherlands (2) bt Northern Ireland (6)

Final

Netherlands (2) bt England (1)

 

2015

Semi-finals

England (1) bt Belgium (5)

Scotland (2) bt Netherlands (3)

Final

England (1) bt Scotland (2)

 

From these stats we can see that:

  • No team seeded outside the top 2 has won the World Cup.
  • Seeds 1 and 2 have contested the final in 3 of the 5 previous World Cup tournaments.
  • One team seeded outside the top 8 has made it through to the final (Belgium 2013).
  • There has yet to be a World Cup where all the top 4 seeds all made it through to the semi-finals.
  • Three teams from outside the top 8 seeds have made it through to the semi-finals.

Taylor & Lewis Lifting 2015 World Cup Trophy

The 2015 winners England (photo: Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Here is the list of players and nations who are competing in the tournament this year.

Seeded Nations

1 – England – Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis

2 – Scotland – Gary Anderson & Robert Thornton

3 – Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld

4 – Northern Ireland – Brendan Dolan & Daryl Gurney

5 – Wales – Mark Webster & Gerwyn Price

6 – Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson

7 – Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Ronny Huybrechts

8 – Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodriguez

 

Unseeded Nations

Canada – John Part & Ken MacNeil

China – Yuanjun Liu & Wenge Xie

Czech Republic – Michal Kocik & Pavel Drtil

Denmark – Per Laursen & Daniel Jensen

Finland – Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele

Germany – Max Hopp & Jyhan Artut

Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Manuel Vilerio

Greece – John Michael & Ioannis Selachoglou

Hong Kong – Ting Chi Royden Lam & Scott MacKenzie

Hungary – Nandor Bezzeg & Patrik Kovacs

Italy – Daniele Petri & Michel Furlanis

Japan – Keita Ono & Haruki Muramatsu

New Zealand – Warren Parry & Cody Harris

Norway – Robert Wagner & Cor Dekker

Philippines – Gilbert Ulang & Alex Tagarao

Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Mariusz Paul

Republic of Ireland – William O’Connor & Mick McGowan

Russia – Aleksandr Oreshkin & Boris Koltsov

Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim

South Africa – Devon Petersen & Graham Filby

Spain – Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas

Sweden – Magnus Caris & Daniel Larsson

Thailand – Thanawat Gaweenuntawong & Attapol Eupakaree

USA – Darin Young & Larry Butler

 

 

A look at the draw for this year’s tournament – I’ve split it into quarters.

England (1) Spain

Czech Republic v China

Austria (8) v Italy

South Africa v Singapore

 

Wales (5) v Finland

Greece v Canada

Northern Ireland (4) v Japan

Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong

 

Scotland (2) v New Zealand

Norway v Gibraltar

Belgium (7) v Poland

Hungary v Thailand

 

Australia (6) v Germany

Denmark v Sweden

Netherlands (3) v Russia

USA v Philippines

 

Now a brief summary of the 8 seeded nations and 4 interesting outsiders.

First the 8 Seeded Nations

1 – England – Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis

England are the defending champions, Taylor and Lewis have paired up for the last 4 World Cup tournaments and have won 3 of them, their only defeat coming against the Netherlands in the 2014 final. In doubles matches they have won 13 of the 14 they have played.

2 – Scotland – Gary Anderson & Robert Thornton

Scotland made it past the quarter-finals for the first time last year and went all the way to the final defeating defending champions Netherlands in the semi-finals. This year Thornton comes in for Wright to partner Anderson. The last time Anderson and Thornton paired up in 2013 they lost in the Last 16 to Spain.

3 – Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld

Netherlands are two time World Cup winners (2010 and 2014) with van Barneveld on the winning team in both of those tournaments. Michael van Gerwen and van Barneveld have paired up in 3 World Cup tournaments; the 2014 win is the only time from the 3 tournaments that they made the final.

4 – Northern Ireland – Brendan Dolan & Daryl Gurney

Northern Ireland’s best run at a World Cup was a semi-final appearance in 2014 when they were beaten by eventual champions van Gerwen and van Barneveld who also defeated them in the quarter-finals last year. This will be the first time Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan have partnered each other at the World Cup, with Dolan partnering Mansell for the last 4 tournaments. Gurney has broken into the top 32 with some strong performances on tour so arguably the strongest team they have had.

5 – Wales – Mark Webster & Gerwyn Price

Wales have a good World Cup pedigree having reached the very first final in 2010 and then the semi-finals in the next two tournaments; they lost in the first round for the first time last year when they were defeated by Hong Kong. Mark Webster has been a constant in the side playing in every World Cup so far, this year will be the first year he has partnered Gerwyn Price. The inform Price has won 2 ranking tournaments this season and is now established in the top 32.

6 – Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson

Australia came close to winning the title in 2012, but were pipped in a deciding leg by England. They have reached the semi-finals on two other occasions and have only once failed to get to the Last 8 (that was in 2013 when they lost to runners-up Belgium in the Last 16). This year is the first time the team has changed with Kyle Anderson replacing Paul Nicholson. Anderson has made a great impact on tour and is rising up the rankings towards the top 32.

7 – Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Ronny Huybrechts

Belgium were runners-up in 2013 and reached the semi-finals last year (both times they were beaten by England), in 2014 they lost to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals meaning that they have lost to the eventual champions in each of the 3 years that the Huybrechts brothers have paired up.

8 – Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodriguez

Austria’s best run in a World Cup came back in 2010 when they reached the Last 8 (which was played as 2 groups of 4). Suljovic has played in every World Cup tournament so far. Rodriguez and Suljovic have paired up over the last 2 tournaments and they haven’t failed to get past the opening round, they haven’t lost a doubles match together (their defeats in the Last 16 were decided in the singles matches).

 

Four Interesting Non Seeds (I’m not saying they are potential winners)

Germany – Max Hopp & Jyhan Artut

Home favourites Germany have twice reached the Last 8 of the tournament, this is only the 2nd year that Hopp and Artut have paired up, last year they beat India 5-0 in the first round, before defeating Austria in the second round their run was ended against England in the quarters. Between them they have played 6 singles matches at the World Cup and won 4 of them. The draw hasn’t been kind to them this year with a tough first round tie against Australia.

Hong Kong – Royden Lam & Scott MacKenzie

Hong Kong are competing in their 3rd World Cup and have made it past the first round on both previous occasions. Last year they reached the last 8, losing to runners-up Scotland, in 2014 they lost to Australia in the Last 16. Lam and MacKenzie have played 4 doubles matches together and have won 3 of these including wins against Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

South Africa – Devon Petersen & Graham Filby

South Africa are 2 time quarter-finalists at the World Cup (2012 & 2014) and have never failed to make it past the first round in 4 attempts. Petersen and Filby have played 3 doubles matches and have won all 3 and in total Petersen has won 5 of his 6 doubles matches at the World Cup.

Spain – Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas

Spain famously upset England and Scotland in the 2010 World Cup on their way to the semi-finals where they were eventually beaten by the Netherlands. They also defeated Scotland in 2013 when they reached the quarter-finals. Only once have they failed to get past the first round (this was in 2012). Last year was the first year that Alcinas and Reyes paired up, they won their first round match against Norway 5-0 before losing to Belgium in the Last 16. Spain face a tough ask to get through the first round this year as they have been drawn against reigning champions England.

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