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In-Form Players Begin World Title Challenge

Wes Newton, Wayne Jones and Robert Thornton are all in action this Sunday night and all come into the tournament in a rich vein of form.

Wayne Jones kicks off proceedings with his first round match against 2008 PDC World Championship finalist Kirk Shepherd. The youngster was beaten by John Part in that final and has failed to use that year’s performances as a springboard for his career. Now ranked at number 41 in the PDC list Shepherd only got into the tournament by virtue of a late withdrawal from the DartsPlayers Australian number one Rob Modra.

Jones on the other hand is enjoying the best year of his long career. He was a finalist at the European Championships in August then followed that up with a run to the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix and then to the semi-finals of the recent Grand Slam of Darts.

At generally available odds of 1/4 to progress to the next round he looks primed for another good run at this tournament, which he can be backed at 100/1 to win.

Wes Newton is another player who is in the form of his life at present. He won back-to-back Players Championship events in early November before pushing Phil Taylor all the way in a group game at the Grand Slam of Darts. He faces American Darin ‘Big Daddy’ Young for a place in the second round.

The pair have come up against each other twice previously in their career with Newton coming out on top on both occasions. He is 4/9 with the bookmakers to make that three out of three whilst Young is given an outsiders chance at 7/4.

Robert Thornton completes the trio of players that have looked in good nick over the past few weeks as he takes on Englishman Nigel Heydon. Heydon has limited TV experience but did make it to the last 16 of the UK Open earlier this year beating Mark Dudbridge on the way.

Nevertheless, Thornton will be expected to progress with relative ease and can be backed at odds of 1/3 with the bookmakers.

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