As action at the Alexandra Palace returns from its three-day Christmas recess on Tuesday, just 32 players remain in the draw for the 2023 Cazoo World Darts Championships.
With the tournament moving toward the business end, it’s now best-of-seven sets for a spot in the last 16.
Round three has thrown up some tasty match-ups, so what have we got our punter’s eye on?
There is little doubt about the stand-out tie of the round as old rivalries are renewed, when former PDC champions Raymond van Barneveld and Gerwyn Price meet in a blockbuster clashon Tuesday evening.
Price may be the number one player in the rankings right now, but a rejuvenated Barney has beaten the Welshman in theirlast three meetings. Perhaps a little surprisingly given his form, Barney is 12/5 with Bet365 to send Price packing. If calling the winner here is too close a call however, punting on the game to go the full seven sets is good value at 11/4 with SkyBet.
Josh Rock versus Nathan Aspinall is another game to leap out from the schedule. Rock, the World youth champion beat an off-colour Callan Rydz in R2 and in his maiden tournament at Ally Pally has been tipped to go far.
Standing in his way here though is 2019 and 2020 semi-finalist and 2022 Grand Slam runner-up, Stockport native Aspinall. The bookies might have Rock the favourite but experience could tell for Aspinall at a very fair 39/29 with SBK.
A game that might steal the show in R3 could be Thursday afternoon’s first game between 19th and 14th seeds Ross Smithand Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Both players threw 10+ 180s in their R2 games and surely an early max fest is on the cards here?
For 20 180s to be thrown, an evens price with 888Sportshould double your money, whilst the other option we’d be looking at is for both to record 10+ 180s each and a 100+checkout each at 4/1 with SkyBet.
If we’re looking for a potential upset meanwhile, it could come in the shape of Alan Soutar who goes up against ninth seed Danny Noppert.
Coming into this tournament with form, the Scot knocked out24th seed, ‘Super Chin’ Daryl Gurney in the last 64.
The Dutchman has been eliminated at this stage in the last four years on the bounce, whilst a plucky and improving‘Soots’ will be aiming for a second consecutive last 16 berth.This looks a tight contest but Soutar might edge it with bothplayers also hitting over a 99 checkout at 7/2 with William Hill.
Conversely, Michael van Gerwen’s tie with Mensur Suljovic could be a mismatch and a swift dismissal of the veteran Austrian could be on the cards.
MVG is considered the man to beat this year and could lift the Sid Waddell trophy but for now, the Dutchman is 9/4 withBetway to advance by a scoreline of 4-1, or even 7/4 with UniBet for the predicted 4-0 whitewash.