Searle is a 32-year-old from Devon who made it to the last 16 last year where he was beaten by Michael Smith despite putting up a strong performance in a really good match.
I haven’t seen a lot of Australia’s Robbie King recent years, but Searle should have more than enough against him.
Ilagan’s from the Philippines and playing in his fourth World Championship. He exited in the first-round last year to Vincent van der Voort. 32-year-old Reyes reached the last 16 in 2015 but last year he was beaten convincingly by Rob Cross, 4-0, but he’s well worth a bet at 8/13 to win this match.
Malicdem’s the gentle giant from the Philippines and reached the second-round last year before losing to Kyle Anderson, while Rodriguez went out to Christo Reyes last year at the same stage.
This’ll be a tight match. Rodriguez has not been in great form, while the standard of play in the Philippines is good right now, there’s some high-quality darts being played over there, so I’d go for Malicdem.
Second Round match
The Polish Eagle is really playing great right now and is up into the top 20 players in the world. He went out in the first round in the last two years but don’t read anything into that, he can cause problems for anyone who runs into him in this tournament and will get through this match.
Ritchie Edhouse, 36-years-old from Enfield, has some experience on the tour but is making his debut at the World Championship. Boris Koltsov has never made it beyond the first round in three attempts, but he could cause problems for Edhouse and I’d back him at 5/4 to go through to the next round.
The Portuguese Jose De Sousa is a really good player and in really impressive form right now after winning two Players Championship titles. People are saying he could make a march through this section of the draw. It’s De Sousa all the way for me in a straight sets win at 11/4.
Fallon Sherrock’s was a 2015 BDO finalist where she finished runner-up to Lisa Ashton. She came through a qualifier averaging 99 in one match, which was an amazing performance.
Ted Evetts will have pressure on him here and might be nervous on the big stage, so Fallon Sherrock is worth a look at 6/1.