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PDC World Darts Championship Betting Tips: 10 contenders for Ally Pally glory

The World Championship will be without a familiar face when it kicks off at Alexandra Palace in December.

Phil Taylor retired from darts after his defeat to Rob Cross in the final in January, meaning this year will be the first in 25 that he has not played in a PDC World Championship.

Cross completed a dramatic rise from former electrician to world champion in 12 months by stunning Taylor in his first visit to Ally Pally.

He is fourth favourite to retain his title in the latest World Championship darts betting and features in our guide to 10 of the leading contenders.

Michael van Gerwen

Appearances: 11
World titles: 2
Last five World Championships: SF-W-R3-SF-W

The Dutchman has dominated the sport for some time now, winning a plethora of titles, but has not had it all his own way at Alexandra Palace. Although a winner in 2014 and 2017, Van Gerwen has finished runner-up once and lost in the semi-finals twice, including to Cross last year. That shows just how hard the tournament is to win, putting Taylor's 16 triumphs into perspective, yet he will return to the capital again as overwhelming favourite. Van Gerwen's high standards have shown no signs of declining this year after winning the Masters, the Premier League and the World Grand Prix, and he heads the world darts outright betting.

Gary Anderson

Appearances: 9
World titles: 2
Last five World Championships: QF-RU-W-W-R3

Like Van Gerwen, Anderson is a two-time winner and has also had his fair share of disappointment. The Scot could quite easily have four titles under his belt after suffering final defeats to Adrian Lewis and Van Gerwen, in 2011 and 2017 respectively. Anderson, who won the title back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, continues to be one of the best players on the circuit, regularly reaching the latter stages of tournaments. He started this year by winning the UK Open, finishing first in a 128-player field, and also won the World Matchplay for the first time and the Champions League of Darts. Is sure to be there or thereabouts as his darts odds suggest.

Peter Wright

Appearances: 9
World titles: 0
Last five World Championships: R2-SF-QF-QF-RU

Despite transforming into one of the best players in the world over recent years, Wright has often struggled to make the most of his opportunities in major tournaments. Veteran Terry Jenkins was often the well-known bridesmaid in majors, losing all nine of his final appearances, but Wright has also struggled in showpieces. He has lost eight of nine major finals, which included the 2014 World Championship, eventually winning one when beating Gerwyn Price in last year's UK Open. Wright suffered a second-round exit in 2017 after an illness hampered his campaign and he will be determined to return with a bang this time around. We are not ruling him out in our darts betting tips.

Rob Cross

Appearances: 1
World titles: 1
Last five World Championships: W

Cross has a 100 per cent record at Alexandra Palace, winning the title in his debut appearance. 'Voltage' was an unknown quantity before the event, having only just found his feet on the circuit, but showed he had what it takes to mix it with the big boys. Not satisfied with knocking favourite Van Gerwen out in the semis, Cross ended Taylor's glittering career in brutal fashion with a 7-2 thrashing. Cross needed time to acclimatise to an increased workload which included the rigours of the Premier League and has struggled overall this year, reaching the quarter-finals at The Masters, UK Open and European Championship. However, he is still ranked as one of the leading contenders in our darts world championship odds.

Michael Smith

Appearances: 7
World titles: 0
Last five World Championships: R2-R3-QF-R3-R3

This could be the year Smith wins a major title. He has finally started to show the belief his undoubted potential requires if he is to challenge with the likes of Van Gerwen and Anderson on a regular basis. Smith has shown flashes of brilliance but has often struggled to last the pace in big games. But he finished a 16-game Premier League campaign second in the table before losing the final to Van Gerwen, showing signs that his concentration and confidence is improving. Smith has yet to progress past the quarter-finals at the worlds, and having missed match darts to knock eventual winner Cross out last year, will be looking to finally make an impact. Could be worth an each-way shout in our darts betting odds.

Gerwyn Price

Appearances: 4
World titles: 0
Last four World Championships: R3-R1-R1-R1

The Welshman won his first major televised title when he beat Gary Anderson 16-13 in a controversial Grand Slam of Darts final in Wolverhampton. Price had to come from behind against Simon Whitlock and Mensur Suljovic to make the final, where he also twice trailed by three legs. 'Iceman' has also reached the quarter-finals at The Masters, UK Open, World Grand Prix and European Championship and his brash style has upset a few players on the circuit. He ended a run of three successive first-round exits at Alexandra Palace last year when he made the third round before losing 4-2 to van Gerwen. But he is certainly one to watch in our darts betting tips today.

Raymond van Barneveld

Appearances: 26
World titles: 5
Last five World Championships: QF-SF-SF-SF-R3

The five-time world champion has announced 2019 will be his final year as a professional darts player. The Dutch legend admitted he does not have the "drive, motivation or fitness to carry on". Since beating Taylor in a classic in 2007, 'Barney' has reached the World Championship final just once and his 2014 Premier League darts triumph was the last major trophy he claimed, although he did win back-to-back World Cup of Darts titles alongside van Gerwen. While van Barneveld is unlikely to mount a challenge for the crown this year, many of his fans may be tempted for a sentimental bet in our world darts outright betting.

Adrian Lewis

Appearances: 13
World titles: 2
Last five World Championships: R1-R3-RU-R3-SF

Lewis may be a two-time world champion but his career has nosedived over the last couple of years. Injuries and a lack of consistency have taken their toll on the 'Jackpot' and his ranking has suffered as a consequence. Lewis is no longer seen as one of the best players in the world, like he was when winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, but could we see him return to those heights this year? He will be looking for redemption at Ally Pally following arguably the lowest moment of his career in 2017, losing 3-1 to the unknown Kevin Munch in the first round.

Dimitri van den Bergh

Appearances: 3
World titles: 0
Last five World Championships: QF-R1-R2

Another former world youth champion who is putting European darts on the map. The Belgian enhanced his glowing reputation at Ally Pally last year, beating Stephen Bunting and Mensur Suljovic en route to a narrow last-eight defeat to Cross. A colourful character who dances his way onto the stage, Van den Bergh continued to hit the headlines at the German Darts Masters in May. He made mincemeat of Van Gerwen, beating the world number one 8-3, and held his nerve to see off Anderson in the semis before losing to Suljovic in the final, showing what he is capable of. If you fancy a bet on darts, this man could appeal in the each-way market.

Corey Cadby

Appearances: 1
World titles: 0
Last five World Championships: R1

The Australian is one of the young players likely to strike fear into the big guns over the coming years. A former world youth champion, he burst onto the scene in 2016 when beating Taylor in the Perth Masters. Cadby's rise continued as he finished runner-up in the UK Open earlier this year, beaten 11-7 by Anderson in Minehead, his first major televised final just weeks after securing his tour card. A fiery character, Cadby is not afraid of a challenge and will want to make his mark on the World Championship following a first-round exit on his debut in 2017. Is an outside chance in our pdc darts outright betting.

[All odds correct at time of publication] 
Stuart Walker
@BetStars in Darts