The 2021 PDC World Cup of Darts kicks off on Thursday, September 9, with the first round of play which will extend into Friday, September 10, when the remaining eight bouts will play out. Today, we will take a look at five fixtures from both days and provide you with our betting picks and predictions.
Czech Republic vs Poland
Thursday, September 9 – 19:30 CEST
The Czech Republic are priced as high as 2.62 (Bet365) to defeat Poland today, which seems a bit high in our book and makes the Karel Sedláček and Adam Gawlas duo worth a bet. Both players seem to be in great form, particularly the 19-year-old Gawals, who had made it to the quarter-finals of the Hungarian Darts Trophy last weekend but had to admit defeat to Jose de Sousa in a deciding leg.
Even though most of the field in Hungary failed to step up, we have to note that the youngster has played well and deserves all the praise he can get. Unfortunately, his partner, Sedláček hasn’t been too impressive on the season, and unless he improves upon his showings (36% win rate), the Czech Republic won’t make it far.
Still, they should have a chance against Poland.
Poland enter this match as favorites, which is fair considering they have Krzysztof Ratajski in the lineup. But as much as we can praise Ratajski and acknowledge what he brings to the table, we aren’t as excited about his partner, Krzysztof Kciuk, who is 3-7 across his last 10.
Even though we can’t argue with the bookmakers who have priced Poland as the favorites to win, the odds seem a bit out of line. It’s worth mentioning that Ratajski is 0-4 in his last four, and while four games don’t mean much, it indicates that he might have lost his rhythm.
Prediction: Czech Republic +1.5 legs – 2.10 at PP and BF, 2.00 at Boyle and BetWay
Prediction: Czech Republic to win – 3.00 at Betfred, Betway and SpreadEx
Scotland vs China
Thursday, September 9 – 21:00 CEST
Jianfeng Lu and Wenqing Liu did not attend the World Cup of Darts last year, and that isn’t too surprising. If we look back, China have won only one of six matches since the transition to the straight knockout, which definitely isn’t too inspiring.
It’s worth noting that China’s team consistently changes, mainly because there are no star players who would secure a permanent spot. Obviously, the lack of star names is the main reason why China struggles to achieve much on the big stage, having only once made it into round two (2016 when they beat the Czech Republic).
Unfortunately, it seems like China won’t be able to break the dry streak this Thursday, as they take on the fourth favorites (13.00 at Bet365) to win the whole thing. It goes without saying that Peter Wright and John Henderson are significantly stronger and likely won’t even need to bring their A-game to secure a clean sweep tonight.
Prediction: Scotland to win 5-0 – 3.75 at William Hill
Wales vs Finland
Thursday, September 9 – 22:00 CEST
Wales are priced as low as 1.04 (Bet365) to defeat Finland, which is more than fair. There isn’t really any reason to dig deep into this match and present arguments for both sides, since you can’t make a solid case against Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton.
As the reigning champions, Price and Clayton enter the 2021 World Cup of Darts as the main favorites (2.87 at Bet365) to do it again, and while there are definitely other strong teams in the mix, you should favor Wales in any match they might find themselves in.
Marko Kantele and Veijo Viinikka of Finland are priced at 501.0 (Bet365) to hoist the trophy, which should paint a clear picture of which team should come out ahead. We essentially have a match featuring the strongest team and one of the weakest teams at the tournament, and it can only end one way.
Interestingly, in the last five years, five of 16 round one matched ended in a 5-0 sweep for the favorites – Wales swept (5-0) Russia last year. It’s also fair to mention that Finland lost to Germany (0-5) in 2020, so you should know where we’re heading with this prediction.
Prediction: Wales to win 5-0 – 3.40 at William Hill
Ireland vs Portugal
Friday, September 10 – 20:10 CEST
Jose de Sousa and Jose Marques are in for a tough night on Friday, as they take on two top-40 players on the PDC in William O’Connor and Steve Lennon. All the eyes will be on de Sousa, as the only world-class player in this match-up; however, despite his renown as one of the best in the world, it’s unlikely that he will manage to carry his teammate to victory.
As history has taught us, in situations where a pairing of a world-class and a mediocre player take on two good opponents, the game usually ends in favor of the latter. That’s not to say that Marquez is a terrible player; however, he’s not good nor consistent enough to compete at this level.
When he’s having a good day, he will carry his weight, but there will also be days where he will not be up to par, which will leave de Sousa with too much weight on his shoulders.
You could argue that de Sousa can win this match on his own, but the offered betting odds definitely make Ireland a better pick. We like a good pairing over a duo comprised of an excellent and a mediocre player any day of the week.
Prediction: Ireland to win – 2.10 at PP, Betfair, and BetWay, 2.00 at Boyle, Betfred, WilliamHill,…
Canada vs Germany
Friday, September 10 – 21:40 CEST
As noted in our PDC World Cup of Darts tournament preview, we are not too excited about Germany and their chances to deliver. The eighth-seeded duo, Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp have had some solid showings over their careers, but they don’t necessarily scream quality since neither has been showing good form of late.
They can be decent, but neither is good, especially when faced with tough opponents. What’s more, both have had a very disappointing season, so there is a chance they will lack the confidence to step up on Friday.
Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell of Canada did well last year, when they made it past Northern Ireland and New Zealand, but fell short against Belgium in the deciding match. Even though last year’s showing won’t necessarily translate here, Smith and Campbell have been playing better than the German duo of late.
Bet365 has Canada priced at 2.37, which makes them a solid pick. Not necessarily because they are stronger, but mainly because we aren’t convinced in Clemens and Hopp, who shouldn’t be priced as such big favorites.
Prediction: Canada to win – 2.50 at Sky, PP, Betfair, Betway, Boyle