Our Predictions for this year's World Championship focus on value in two quarters of the draw.
Gerwyn Price goes into the 2022 World Championship as the 4/1 joint favourite alongside Michael van Gerwen and the Welshman will be bidding to become thr fourth man to retain the title.
van Gerwen has not won a major title in 2021 so has equal motivation heading into this year's showpiece tournament. I won't be backing anyone in the outright market but if pushed it would be Price to do the business again and forcing van Gerwen to wait until at least 2022 for his next win.
Joe Cullen to Win Quarter Two
- (4) James Wade v Maik Kuivenhoven/Ky Smith
- (29) Vincent van der Voort v Adam Hunt/Boris Krcmar
- (13) Joe Cullen v Ted Evetts/Jim Williams
- (20) Simon Whitlock v Martijn Kleermaker/John Michael
- (5) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Florian Hempel/Martin Schindler
- (28) Devon Petersen v Jamie Hughes/Raymond Smith
- (12) Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon/Madars Razma
- (21) Mervyn King v Ryan Joyce Roman Benecky
This quarter of the draw is wide open, with James Wade the fourth seed in the tournament but not the favourite to make the quarter finals from the matches above. He's also hasn't made it past the quarter-final stage since 2013, has never won this event and is 50/1 for the title in 2022.
He will, however, fancy his chances in a quarter amongst the likes of Dimitri van den Bergh (3/1), Joe Cullen (7/1) and Krzysztof Ratajski (7/1).
Cullen is the player that interests me most in taking advantage of this quarter. He sprung to life last year at this tournament, beating Jonny Clayton and losing a thriller to Michael van Gerwen in the fourth round.
He's followed that up with an excellent season, securing two tiles and making it to the semi finals of the European Championship in October.
Memories of the Ally Pally crowd right behind him during his run last year will be fresh in his mind and at 7/1 there's value on him going at least one better than his fourth round exit in 2021.
Ryan Searle to Win Quarter Three
- (2) Peter Wright v Ryan Meikle/Fabian Schmutzler
- (31) Damon Heta v Luke Woodhouse/James Wilson
- (15) Ryan Searle v William Borland/Bradley Brooks
- (18) Danny Noppert v Jason Heaver/Juan Francisco Rodriguez
- (7) Jose de Sousa v Jason Lowe/Daniel Larsson
- (26) Mensur Suljovic v Alan Soutar/Diogo Portela
- (10) Nathan Aspinall v Joe Murnan/Paul Lim
- (23) Brendan Dolan v Callan Rydz/Yuki Yamada
Peter Wright (2/1) is the obvious favourite in this part of the draw being the second seed. Following a very poor Premier League campaign, Wright had a resurgence during the summer winning the World Matchplay but has looked inconsistent again in recent months.
The manner of his defeat to Gerwyn Price in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts won't have filled him with confidence and although he won the Players Championship Finals the following week, I can't back him at that price.
Nathan Aspinall (6/1) and Jose de Sousa (6/1) are the other two big names in this section of the draw, with Aspinall particularly looking in good form in the run up to the World Championship after a slow start to the season.
Ryan Searle (7/1) is another player who made a run to the fourth round last year, has followed that up with a good 2021 and I'm backing him to make the quarters this year.
He is one of the form players on tour at the moment, making the final in three of his last four tournaments and narrowly losing to Peter Wright 10-11 in the final of the Players Championship Finals.
He's had two runs to the fourth round at the Ally Pally and this draw looks a good opportunity for him to make it to the latter stages of the tournament.