Colin Lloyd on World Championship contenders, players to watch and the growth of the global game | Darts News


Price and Van Gerwen could renew their rivalry at Alexandra Palace

As the countdown to this year’s PDC World Darts Championship continues, former World Number 1 Colin Lloyd gives us a taste of what to expect in the coming weeks at Alexandra Palace.

Speaking in the last episode of Darts Show Podcast, the two-time main winner voiced his views on key talking points ahead of this year’s event, which will see world number one Gerwyn Price bid to keep his crown.

First of all, who are the contenders?

Former world champions Wright, Van Gerwen and Cross are among the top contenders for the 2022 crown

Former world champions Wright, Van Gerwen and Cross are among the top contenders for the 2022 crown

There are some players who have put their name in the hat. Peter Wright won the last major coming to the World Cup, MVG is throwing something good again, Jonny Clayton is still in shape.

I can’t see anyone winning outside of the top eight, because they have been so dominant and so consistent this year. MVG has launched some fabulous things, but it continues to falter when you think that’s where it’s going to go on.

Wrighty, Clayton and Price keep pushing and pushing. I think Gerwyn Price starts out as a favorite for me. I think if he reaches his peak form, he will suffer a lot of defeats, but there are many other people who are more than capable of going up there and lifting that trophy.

I have to mention Rob Cross. It looks sharp; he has won the European Championship and is throwing some good things again. Wadey looked good without actually winning an event recently.

I truly believe it will be among the four that I have mentioned: Price, Wright, MVG and Clayton. On TV right now, I’m just on a different level.

Barney’s Return …

Van Barneveld produced some encouraging performances at the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals last month

Van Barneveld produced some encouraging performances at the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals last month

He seemed resigned to the fact that he was walking away from the game [in 2019]. He obviously wasn’t in a good head space. He just looked flat and out of his mind.

It’s nice to see him again. He did the hard part by going to Q School and getting his Tour Card back. He won a ranked event soon after, so we know he threw some decent darts.

At the Players’ Championship [Finals], was only beaten by MVG but it was a cracking game. He threw some decent things at the Grand Slam, and if he’s sharp and if he’s focused, who knows?

You are not given five world titles. Is there a sixth in him? Most likely, but he will have to give his best if he is to achieve this goal.

The prominent tie?

Anderson and Lewis could be destined to clash in the L64, in a repeat of the 2011 and 2016 World Finals

Anderson and Lewis could be destined to clash in the L64, in a repeat of the 2011 and 2016 World Finals

There are so many dangerous matches for the seeded players, but the one that really stood out was number 6 seeded Gary Anderson, who got to face Adrian Lewis winner against Matt Campbell.

I mean, deep down, the fan wants Adrian Lewis to beat Matt Campbell, but Matt Campbell is a very dangerous and capable player. He has shown in the past that he can throw at a very high level.

If Adrian Lewis can pull it off, he’ll play Gary Anderson in a rerun of the 2011 and 2016 Finals.

Adrian has shown some flashes of decent stuff, and no disrespect to Gary, but he’s running a little hot and cold right now.

We all know that if “the” Gary Anderson and “the” Adrian Lewis can show up, he could be an absolute humdinger.

The global game …

Brazilian Diogo Portela is among the 32 international qualifiers present in this year's showpiece

Brazilian Diogo Portela is among the 32 international qualifiers present in this year’s showpiece

If you have qualified for a world championship, you can seriously play darts. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you have won through your Tour system in your country or you have won a qualification. You have earned the right to be there.

There are many young people arriving right now. New names we’ve never met before. Young Fabian Schmutzler from Germany – 16 years old and a crackling player.

You’ve got Bradley Brooks on the way, Keane Barry. The game is in a great place. It is worldwide.

Everyone loves darts and everyone who now thinks they can play darts is practicing, they jump on the dart board, because they can see the rewards. The rewards are huge.

May it continue for a long time, because the growth of the game is getting bigger and bigger and people are qualifying from more and more different countries.

Age is just a number…

The 67 year old

The 67-year-old “Singapore Slinger” will make his 26th World Championship appearance this year

It’s about the mechanics of your body. If you compete often enough, keep that muscle memory in your arm.

Paul Lim has seriously stood the test of time. He has a rough start in Joe Murnan, but Joe can’t take Paul lightly, because Paul has all the experience in the world.

The winner of that clash will then face 10th seed Nathan Aspinall, but it’s good to see Limmy up there again. Seems timeless, right?

It is just a fact that Paul Lim will be back at the World Championships! He is a breath of fresh air. Fans love it, it goes up there, bangs in the 80s and can take out the big shots.

I remember last year he missed double 12 for the nine-darter [against Gary Anderson], which he did many years ago. It’s great entertainment, great value, and it’s great to see it competing again.

Surprise packages?

Gurney showed signs of recovery by reaching the quarter-finals at the players' championship finals

Gurney showed signs of recovery by reaching the quarter-finals at the players’ championship finals

He’s been on the missing list for a while, but this individual would be my surprise package – at the Players’ League Finals, he showed me that he had recovered that hunger and desire. I like the look of Daryl Gurney. He seemed really good, really sharp, very focused.

The other one for me is Ryan Searle. He proved something to himself and openly admitted that his nerves probably got the better of him in the end.

Those two had a good fight at the Players Championship and we want to see more of that.

Two players who are firing on all cylinders, looking good. I can’t wait to see how both of those guys perform at the World Championship.

Seeds to fight and who wins?

Lloyd claimed the world number one to keep the Sid Waddell Trophy in January

Lloyd claimed the world number one to keep the Sid Waddell Trophy in January

We don’t know how Glen Durrant is playing at the moment and he will end up with a tough match: William O’Connor’s winner will play against Danny Lauby.

Stephen Bunting – we know he’s playing well, but he has Ross Smith’s winner against Jeff Smith. It could end up being a banana peel.

Dimitri Van den Bergh is the No. 5 – Florian Hempel won against Martin Schindler. Florian Hempel has made great strides and Martin Schindler is throwing some quality stuff again, so Dimitri has a pretty tough game there.

Who win? I know he’s defending it, so there’s some pressure there, but I don’t think that scares him at all. I will say that Gezzy Price beats MVG in the final.

It won’t take long to wait for the darts to return to your screens and it’s the world darts championship at Alexandra Palace – join us on Sky Sports for each arrow of each 16-day session that will start on Wednesday 15 December.

Check out daily darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts

.

Leave a Comment