Van Gerwen, Sherrock and a 16-year-old star – the five to watch at Ally Pally

Van Gerwen, Sherrock And A 16-Year-Old Star – The Five To Watch At Ally Pally
Michael van Gerwen is targeting a fourth world title, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Jonathan Veal, PA

Christmas must be around the corner as the PDC World Darts Championship starts at Alexandra Palace on Friday.

Two-and-a-half weeks of darts await before the champion is crowned on January 3rd.


Here, the PA news agency looks at five competitors to keep an eye on during the tournament.

Michael van Gerwen

The Dutchman has not had the best year by his impeccable standards, with the Premier League his only major title, but he must still be considered the man to beat at Alexandra Palace.

When he fires few can keep the pace with him and Van Gerwen has the bit between his teeth as he hunts a fourth title.


He has lost twice in the final since his last victory in 2019 so is due a return to the winner’s circle.

Luke Humphries

The 28-year-old will arrive at Ally Pally as favourite after a remarkable run of form in 2023.

‘Coolhand’ has won three of the last four majors as he followed the World Grand Prix title in October with wins at the Grand Slam of Darts and the Players Championship.

No one is playing more consistently than Humphries at the minute and if he can handle the pressure of expectation, he could go all the way.


Michael Smith

Smith is the defending champion and earned himself a place in folklore last year when he beat Van Gerwen in one of the greatest finals of all time, throwing a nine-finish in a memorable leg.

‘Bully Boy’ has taken a step away from the game this year, but has not really performed to his usual standard when he has played in the major tournaments.

But coming back to defend the title is sure to spur him on and if he can find his range over the coming weeks, he will be difficult to stop.

Fallon Sherrock

Fallon Sherrock burst on to the scene in 2020 with a run to the third round
Fallon Sherrock burst on to the scene in 2020 with a run to the third round (Steven Paston/PA)

The ‘Queen of the Palace’ is back at the place where life changed for her in 2020 when she became the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship.

The 29-year-old has not won a game in her two appearances since then, but will be a good bet to get some more wins under her belt after a good year.

She became the first woman to hit a nine-dart finish in PDC history in March and then repeated the feat in front of the television cameras at August’s Modus Super Series.

Luke Littler

Few will have heard of Luke Littler but he is definitely a name for the future.

Just 16, Littler is causing waves in the game and his victory in the World Youth Championship made people sit up and take notice.

Winning the tournament this year may be a stretch too far but he will be hoping to take a few scalps and no one will want to play him.

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