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World Darts Championship: Day six preview

Five-time champ Raymond van Barneveld and Queen of the Palace Fallon Sherrock are the star turns on day six at the World Darts Championship.

Englishman Ryan Meikle is the man charged with the unenviable task of trying to silence the Barney Army in round two at Alexandra Palace while invitee Sherrock faces a tough battle against Rapid Ricky Evans in round one.

What: World Darts Championship
When: 15th December – 3rd January, 2023
Where: Alexandra Palace, London
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

Barney back hoping to scalp the Barber

It's the final match of the night on day six and it'll be a spine-tingler as the sirens make way for those first tell-tale beats of Eye of the Tiger and Raymond van Barneveld – a more emotional Van Barneveld these days – milks the adulation of a packed and loyal Ally Pally once again.

The Barney Army, bedecked in orange, will rise as one to acclaim the five-time world champ – a 100/1 outsider to make it six this year – as he strides up to the stage where he has shone so many times before.

Oh yeah, and then Ryan Meikle will come on!

It's easy to forget amid all the spectacle and the drama of a Barney walk-on that there's someone else alongside him on the oche, and that someone is left-hander Meikle, who made hard work of beating Lisa Ashton in his opener and is 7/4 to take down the No.32 seed.

Barney, a 4/9 chance, comes into the match in a positive frame of mind after qualifying for last month's Grand Slam where he went on to reach the semis, beating Gerwyn Price twice over the course of the week.

He and Meikle, aka The Barber, have met twice this year, both on the floor where Meikle performs better, and each game went the distance.

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Sherrock aiming to make it third time lucky

Beau Greaves came and went on day two, followed by Lisa Ashton 24 hours later, leaving Fallon Sherrock as the last woman standing at the World Championship.

Sherrock, rather shoehorned into the field after not meeting the initial qualifying criteria, has the pedigree having won twice on this stage before so she should be bullish about taking on Ricky Evans.

And Rapid Ricky has gone completely off the boil. In March he reached the sixth round of the UK Open and a Players Championship final, but the 1/4 shot comes into his clash with Sherrock having failed to win a match at the last five floor events while falling at the first at lasy month's Players Championship Finals.

That said, Sherrock isn't in the greatest of nick, nothing like the form which saw her momentously take out both Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic just three years back.

The 3/1 chance made it into last month's Grand Slam but won just four legs across three round-robin matches which suggests that even if she slows Evans down – which she will surely endeavour to do – and with the crowd's support, this looks beyond her.

British duo face tough continental challenge

Before Sherrock and Barney light up the stage there are two intriguing British-Euro affairs, beginning with Welshman Jim Williams against promising young Polish ace Sebastian Bialecki.

It's 4/9 Williams, 7/4 Bialecki and certainly the Welshman has the pedigree having reached the final of the 2020 BDO world title where he lost to Wayne Warren.

He won his first floor event since joining the PDC in March but since then he has definitely gone through a quiet patch.

This is all new territory for teenager Bialecki, who is making his debut, but he has already landed a few blows in his briefest of exposures to the big stage, for example reaching the sixth round of the UK Open in March.

The Eastern European qualifiers aren't as examining as the Western European heats but all you can do is beat whoever is in front of you and the 19-year-old took care of the likes of Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Christian Godl to earn his place in the main draw.

He should pose a challenge for Williams – he's 4/5 with plus 1.5 on the handicap, which doesn't look a bad price – and the same applies to Jimmy Hendriks in game two, against Jamie Hughes.

It's played three, lost three for Hughes at the Palace, hardly the sort of form which encourages a bet on the Englishman at 3/10.

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