Wayne Mardle has looked into his crystal ball and knows what to expect at the World Darts Championship…

Which big names will struggle?

The one that stands out as a banana skin is for Ronny Huybrechts to beat Daryl Gurney. I think Gurney is the real deal but this is a horrible game for him.

Ronny will average 90 because that is what he does. We know averages don’t win matches, but Gurney will have to play well. Ronny is a difficult customer because he looks like he’s not good, but he’s a shrewd operator. He is comfortable under pressure and has ability, when he needs it. I see this going 3-2, either way. The No 4 seed could be going out.

Jelle Klaasen could be in for a dodgy ride, Stephen Bunting too. Gary Anderson will not lose against Jeff Smith or Luke Humphries, but he won’t win 3-0 either.

Who are you excited to watch?

Rob Cross. It’s his first World Darts Championship and he’s coming in as the fifth-favourite. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got knocked out in the second game, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he made the semi-final.

I want to see him play like he can. If he averaged nearly 100 in his first game then it’s ‘wow you’ve confirmed how good you are’. Because it’s not easy to settle into the Worlds.

Others that I want to see play well are Kim Huybrechts and Michael Smith. I’ve been saying that they are potential winners of majors for the past four years. They seem to do good things then lose. Two years ago Kim played Phil Taylor and I felt he had a chance, but he let himself down. If they both relax, they can do some damage because they have got the game to beat anyone.

How will Phil Taylor get on?

Who will win the World Darts Championship?

The winner will be Michael van Gerwen and the runner-up will be Kim Huybrechts or Gary Anderson. Michael Smith gets beaten in the semi-final.

There’s some money to be made on Huybrechts and, if it happens, I will win more than him!

The 2018 World Championship from Alexandra Palace starts on Thursday, December 14 and ends New Year’s Day.

Keep up to date with the news as the PDC celebrates 25 years on Sky Sports. So get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts – don’t forget to use #LoveTheDarts

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(c) Sky News 2017: World Darts Championship: Wayne Mardle’s predictions

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