Column #HR309 2021 World Cup of Darts PREDICTIONS!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Column HR308
2021 World Cup of Darts PREDICTIONS!

The Old Dart Coach was singing at the top of his voice with all his baby heart (in the key of ugly):

How is your mother,  

How is your brother,  

How is your sister Sue 

How is your Granny   

How is your Fanny 

How is your old Cazoo?   

The vocal celebration was in advance of the 2021 Cazoo World Cup of Darts in Germany’s Sparkassen Arena from Sept 9 to 12.  Thirty-two teams will compete for £350,000 with the winners splitting £70,000.  In a quirk of seeding the defending champion, Wales, is seeded #2 with the same team of Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton.

The #1 seed goes to England with two-timer Dave Chisnall and James Wade who returns after a 10 year “pause.”  Had Scotland’s Gary Anderson not taken a pass, as he had want to do, being replaced by John Henderson, Scotland would have been the #1 seed.

For the first time, America (Danny Lauby & Chuck Puleo) won’t get a “gas chamber or hanging one-and-done card.”  They open with a dead even match against Sweden’s Daniel Larsson & Johan Engström.  The questions is which team is “match ready” as the Kung Flu has curtailed tournament play everywhere.  The preceding was not brought to you by Captain Oblivious.

Should America get by Sweden they’ll in all probability face #7 Australia (Simon Whitlock & Damon Heta) who are beatable but not in their opening match against Italy.  Canada, with World Cup veterans Jeff Smith & Matt Campbell, get a bumpy road first round with #8 Germany (Max Hopp and rookie Gabriel Clemens), last year’s semifinalists.  Playing at home, the Beer and Brats Boys will be favored and hard to beat.  Canada (Smith & Campbell) was a quarter finalists last year, losing to Belgium.  Get by Germany and they should coast into the quarters although a win isn’t predicted here.

No World Cup preview would be complete without a look at Singapore which is always a crowd favorite.  They’re popular because of the “We’re Not Brothers Lim” – Paul and Harith.  Paul, the older, is a well-deserved living legend having gained darting success ever since the foul line was named after the Oche Brother Brewery, the first recorded darts sponsorship.  Drawn in the bottom half of the draw they should start by beating a veteran Gibraltar team led by John Michael who is usually a star, even in losing.  A win and next up they’ll see #3 Netherlands (Michael van Gerwen & Dirk van Duijvenbode) who should go through Denmark like corn thru a seagull.    

First Round: There could be some surprises, as there usually are.  A first round barnburner has Portugal vs. the Republic of Ireland.  The Port Wine Guys have the sensational José de Sousa paired with José Marquês.  Ireland returns the duo of William O’Conner and Stephen Lennon.  When O’Conner, seldom seen in the PDC, shows up he always plays well.  This is a duel between Irelands O’Conner & José de Sousa.  It’s definitely a “pick’em.” Going with Portugal.  The rest of the first round should be form full.  

Second Round: While they are there for the taking, #1 England, after dancing to a win over Brazil, should also vanquish South Africa who are dependent on “Dancing” Devon Petersen.  He should be enough to get a win for South Africa over all rookie Spain in round 1.  England has only failed to reach the quarter finals once and they won’t fail this time.

#4 Belgium (Dimitri Van den Bergh & Kim Huybrechts) will reach the round of 16 regardless of whom they play – as they have every year sans 2010.  The Chocolate & Diamond duo have been an overachiever, exceeding their seeds with 5 semis, 3 quarters and 1 runner-up.  Kim Huybrechts has been brilliant and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be again.  #2 Wales will have no trouble advancing.

(16-8): #1 England will face a daunting task if they face either Canada or Germany.  If it’s Japan or Russia, they’ll walk into the semifinals.  #2 Wales will move a step closer to defending their title with an easy win over either Hungary or Lithuania.  #3 Netherlands might have some trouble if they meet Singapore but will prevail.  #4 Belgium advances.

Quarters (8 to 4): #1 England’s in trouble here.  Germany should be the opponent and will give the home county a reason to celebrate.  #2 Wales will move a step closer to defending their title with an easy win over whomever they meet.  It’ll probably be Australia.  This round will test #3 Netherlands meeting #6 Scotland (Peter Wright & John Henderson).  Discounting their win in 2019, Scotland has had a bumpy road.  In 2020, the team of Henderson & Thornton reached the finals.  Some would presume that common sense would dictate Snake Bite replacing Thornton would be a plus.  The guys where men wear Kits and Sheep are nervous and may not be better.  This is a must see.  Taking Netherland in a squeaker.  If #4 Belgium faces Portugal, they will be sorely tested.

Semis: #4 Belgium has yet to reach a final.  Could this be the year?  Only if they meet #1 England.  We’re sticking with the German pair of Gabriel Clemens & Max Hopp to upset England.  They improve on last year’s semifinal appearance to reach their first final.

Last year, the team of Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton got Wales to their first final which they won 3-nil over England.  The question before play began was: “who is Jonny Clayton?”  The answer was that he is one determined-gutsy dart player.  These two guys play great as a team, prevailing over Netherlands as van Gerwen isn’t enough to defeat them. 

The Final: In 1634, Giambattista Basile published the English version of Charles Perrault’s Cinderella.  In the story the clock strikes 12:00 as Cinderella’s coach turns into pumpkin.  For Germany the Cazoo World Cup bell rings in the final as their hopes for a trophy turn into large pints of commissary lager.  Wales joins England (2012-13 & 2015-16) and Netherland (2017-18) as a back-to-back winner.

A statement from Dartoid’s World: The publisher has received numerous communiqués from the ODC neighbors in the barrio about his singing.  Among the complaints are that the sounds cause dogs to wail, car alarms to shriek and statues to crumple.  The ODC has been warned his actions are a violation of his employment contract.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.