World Darts Championship: Rob Cross and Raymond van Barneveld prepare for a titanic battle with Ally Pally | Darts News
Wayne Mardle believes the second round clash between Rob Cross and Raymond van Barneveld could be one of the best games of this year’s World Darts Championship
For the second time at this year’s World Darts Championship, two former world champions will face each other for a third round berth at Alexandra Palace, when 2018 winner Rob Cross takes on five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Earlier in the tournament, two-time world champions Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis faced off in a repeat of the 2011 and 2016 finals, and we’re set for another titanic battle in the penultimate game before the holidays. of Christmas.
Cross makes the annual pilgrimage to the capital in arguably his best form since winning the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy in his debut, having seen a resurgence since winning his second European Championship crown in October .
However, Van Barneveld will have been supported by his impressive performance in his first game on Monday, where he averaged 96.7 to eliminate Lourence Ilagan in straight sets.
Live World Darts Championship
December 23, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
The Dutchman sadly withdrew from the sport following his loss to Darin Young at this stage two years ago, but he banished all lingering demons with his first World Championship win since December 2017.
The 54-year-old insists he feels “reborn” after regaining his place on the pro tour in February, and he appears in a relaxed mood ahead of his clash with “Voltage”.
“I was practicing and you could hear, ‘Barney Army, Barney Army’. I got goosebumps all over the place. It’s fantastic,” he said. Air sports.
“I really don’t know why the crowd loves me so much. Maybe I’m still myself. I’m just Ray.
Van Barneveld produced vintage darts to pass Lourence Ilagan on his first tie
“Rob is an amazing player, but other than that he’s an amazing guy. I can’t wait to be there. I have no pressure.
“If Rob beats me okay I try next year but trust me with this setup I’m going to do fine. If it’s this week or next year I’m telling you now – it will work. “
Van Barneveld received a moving welcome on his return to the World Championship, and he revealed he was touched by the support he received from his army of supporters.
Four months ago, the prospect of facing Cross in the second round might not have seemed particularly worrying, but the 31-year-old has been a different proposition since winning his fourth major televised crown in Salzburg. .
Talk to Darts Show Podcast Last month, Cross was optimistic about his form, insisting he felt he could fight for the world No.1 spot over the next 12 months.
“I feel inside that there’s so much more out there, and that’s what I want to get out, instead of trying to play my B game to win these titles. I want to start playing my A game.” , Cross said.
“Now is the time to go ahead and get my rankings up where I want it. Maybe next year, if I can finish this year well, I can start pushing for the world number 1. . “
Cross and Van Barneveld are two of 10 players to claim PDC World Championship glory, but both have suffered their fair share of Ally Pally’s grief in recent years.
“Voltage” suffered back-to-back first-round defeats to Kim Huybrechts and Dirk van Duijvenbode, while Barney succumbed to the first hurdle to Darius Labanauskas and Darin Young in his last appearances.
Nonetheless, both Tungsten Titans are playing their best darts for a hefty record, and as they battle for the right to play two-time major winner Daryl Gurney in round three, we could be in for a Christmas cracker!
Cross vs. Van Barneveld: Face to Face
|Rob cross||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Average of the Tour 2021:||97.10||94.94|
Cross has an impressive head-to-head record against the dean of Dutch darts, having won seven of their 10 games.
Van Barneveld failed to beat Cross in any of his eight appearances before coming out of retirement, despite the Dutchman winning both of their Pro Tour fixtures in 2021.
The first of those wins inspired Barney to victory in Players Championship 3 in February, but Cross won three and drew one of their televised clashes – their last to come in March 2019.
Wayne Mardle: “Raymond won on tour, he played really well in the Grand Slam and the Players’ Championship in my opinion.
“Rob Cross is going to have to work hard because Raymond won’t give him the game. It will be a fascinating encounter.
“I would love to see Raymond do a deep run here because I’m the old romantic, but Rob Cross has been playing good darts lately, and his bad plays are always good plays.
“Raymond has everything to do. There is something about Raymond that I really like right now, but I can’t go for him. I think Rob Cross wins.”
I bragged about Rob. I think he will be fine. I think Raymond is going to fight, but I just think Cross has done more, and more recently.
Part on the perspectives of Cross’ Ally Pally …
John Party: “Raymond is certainly capable and there is no guarantee of how well Rob Cross will perform. However, he has been looking stronger and stronger lately.
“I think Cross is the most consistent player. Raymond got better as the game progressed [against Ilagan], and I think he’s done enough to feel positive.
“He’s got every chance if things go well in the first set. Normally we talk about the end of the set and the end of the game, but I think the start can be important.
“I bragged about Rob. I think he’ll be fine. I think Raymond is going to fight, but I just think Cross has done more, and more recently.”
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