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World Darts Championship: Day five preview - Simon Whitlock faces stern test

A second-round clash between 17th seed Jose De Sousa and former runner-up Simon Whitlock headlines day five of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

De Sousa, the man they call the Special One, has never gone beyond the third-round of the World Championship but he is a former Major winner having won the Grand Slam of Darts in 2020.

Whitlock has too won a ranking televised event having reigned supreme at the European Championship in 2012, but the Australian has been on the decline in recent seasons.

Another star of the show on day five is Steve Beaton, who returns for his 32nd consecutive World Darts Championship, and the Bronzed Adonis takes on Danny van Trijp in Monday's closing match.

Other contests see the resurgent Andrew Gilding take on Robert Owen, Niels Zonneveld go toe-to-toe with Lewy Williams and Geert Nentjes face Leonard Gates.

Wizard's magic may desert him

What: 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, Michael Smith 5/1, Gerwyn Price 6/1, Peter Wright 9/1, Luke Humphries 14/1, Josh Rock 14/1, Jonny Clayton 20/1, Dimitri van Den Bergh 25/1

Simon Whitlock already has a game under his belt, which may be seen as a positive, but the Wizard needs big improvements if he is to keep his World Championship dream alive.

Whitlock averaged just 87.25 in Saturday's first round win over Christian Perez, whose mistakes on the outer ring allowed the Australian to record a 30-dart hold in what ultimately decided the fifth and final set.

The inexperienced Perez finished that game the stronger but was not clinical enough and if De Sousa is dealt similar chances then he is surely going to punish Whitlock.

Whitlock tends to rely on his heavy-scoring abilities but he managed just three maximums from the 20 legs played against Perez, which suggests he was way below his peak.

On his day, De Sousa is capable of some lofty averages and the maverick from Portugal should be a strong fancy at 4/6 to get the better of Whitlock.

Awaiting the winner of this tie is Ryan Searle or Adam Gawlas, suggesting it's a good opportunity for either player to enjoy a deep run at Alexandra Palace.

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Beaton hoping to roll back the years

Beaton is a familiar face at Alexandra Palace and, returning to the World Championship for the 32nd consecutive year, will be hoping to see off Danny van Trijp in round one.

The Bronzed Adonis, who is 4/9 to come out on top, should put his experience to good use.

Beaton handled the pressure well when he denied Fallon Sherrock a dream return to the Palace in the first round last year, winning 3-2, and he has enjoyed a remarkable return to top form recently.

The 58-year-old reached the final of a Players Championship event in November, eventually finishing runner-up to James Wade after recording wins over the likes of Mike De Decker, Stephen Bunting and Dave Chisnall.

Young Dutchman Van Trijp is making his World Championship debut and confidence must be pretty low after recent performances, which may mean the occasion gets the better of him.

Beaton is fancied to come out on top and backing him to cover a set handicap of -1.5 at 10/11 may be the way for punters to go.

Edhouse should conquer Cameron

Ritchie Edhouse showed at last year's World Championship what he was capable of and the now world number 49 should be far too strong for Canadian chucker David Cameron.

Edhouse defeated Peter Hudson in round one last year before losing 3-1 to world number one Gerwyn Price, a game in which he averaged 95.67 and gave the Welshman real problems.

Edhouse also defeated Michael Smith 6-5 before being on the wrong end of another decider against Dimitri Van den Bergh at the Players Championship Finals at the end of November, which also shows he cannot be taken lightly.

Cameron, on the other hand, has been competing mostly in the Online Live League and will be desperate to make the step up to World Championship level.

It is no surprise to see Edhouse at 4/7 to come out on top but he is also 6/5 to win by two sets or more, which also appeals plenty.

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