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World Darts Championship: Best British hopes

Only three players from outside the UK have won the PDC World Darts Championship and one of that elite trio - Michael van Gerwen - is fancied to win it this year.

Plenty of others from outside these shores will also fancy that they can get their hands on the Sid Waddell Trophy on 3rd January.

But with 43 players representing the home nations, five of whom have won the title within the last 12 years, there is going to be a serious British and Northern Irish challenge laid down at Alexandra Palace.

Top seed Price flying flag for the Welsh

What: PDC World Darts Championship
Where: Alexandra Palace, London
When: 15th December 2022 - 3rd January 2023
How to watch: Sky Sports
Odds: Michael van Gerwen 5/2, Gerwyn Price 6/1, Michael Smith 15/2, Peter Wright 10/1, Luke Humphries 14/1 

Van Gerwen might be the 5/2 favourite but the top seed is Gerwyn Price, and the world number one is 6/1 to repeat his feat of two years ago.

Price has had a quiet year by his own high standards, with five titles but only one in a major, winning the World Series in September.

He is a former champion but he's got a difficult relationship with the crowd at Alexandra Palace and, if the seedings work out and he takes on Raymond van Barneveld in round three, you can be sure the crowd will be rooting for the Dutch legend.

Price is one of six Welshmen gunning for glory in North London with former Premier League winner and 16/1 shot Jonny Clayton the next best from the principality.

World Cup partners leading tartan attack

Former World Cup-winning duo Peter Wright and Gary Anderson head the Scottish assault on the title and both know they are capable given both have won it twice before.

Anderson, a five-time finalist and still enormously capable though far less consistent, is 50/1 this year which means anyone who wants to back a Scot for glory will be looking at Wright.

Snakebite, 10/1, was in a class of his own working his way through the last few rounds en route to his second world crown 12 months ago. But he hasn't performed to anything like his best this year, with just three finals reached since April.

Wright and Anderson are seeded and in the bottom half of the draw. Two other Scots - Cameron Menzies and Alan Soutar - are unseeded, in the top half and may well have a few fans in quarter betting at the very least.

Soutar is the more proven of the pair and is 28/1 to win the top quarter while Menzies is 40/1 in the second quarter.

Rocky's rise could upset the top seeds

Arguably the most interesting of the shorter-priced runners is Josh Rock, who is 16/1 to win the title at the age of 21.

The world youth champion has made giant strides in 2022, registering titles on the Development Tour and landing a nine-darter against Van Gerwen in the Grand Slam, though you do wonder if there hasn't been an over-reaction given this will all be completely new territory.

What it does mean is that Rock is Northern Ireland's most fancied player, far shorter than seeds Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan who are 125/1 and 250/1 respectively.

England expects a capital treat

A total of 28 Englishmen are bracing themselves for a shot at glory.

They include former champions like Rob Cross (25/1) and Adrian Lewis (250/1), major winners like Nathan Aspinall (33/1) and James Wade (50/1) and a trio of women headed by 500/1 shot Fallon Sherrock, the Queen of the Palace.

But there are an awful lot of darts fans and punters warming to the idea that this could be Michael Smith's year.

Runner-up to Wright last January, Smith has established a reputation as one of the game's most talented players but short of the missing ingredient that separates good players from great ones.

Between August 2018 and March 2020, Bully Boy reached eight finals in events of differing calibre - and lost the lot. He was an also eight-time major runner-up but never a winner.

The breakthrough came just last month when he finally turned potential into gold by overpowering all-comers and winning the Grand Slam, getting the monkey off his back in real style.

Smith is 15/2 to be crowned world champion for the first time while Luke Humphries, a multiple European Tour winner in 2022, is also highly regarded at 14/1.

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