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This should be a very tight game with not much between the players, but I believe that Lennon can just come out on top against the Latvian. If the Irishman does so, he’s likely to also get most 180s against Razma – who has one of the lowest 180 rates on the PDC Tour. Lennon ranks middle of the pack in 180s and that extra scoring power can just see him over the line in the opening game on Thursday.
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North American players like John Norman can often be underrated in this event, as we don’t see them often on the Tour. Norman has some good form coming into this one from in his native Canada and looks like a value play in what could prove to be another very close match-up.
We have yet another North American player here and Danny Lauby was very impressive in the first round at the World Championships last year before eventually losing out 3-2 to Ryan Searle. This performance looks even better in hindsight as Searle is now in the top 16 players in the world rankings. A repeat here will see Lauby go close against William O’Connor, who hasn’t made much of an impact on the PDC tour this season.
I’m going to go with youth here, as the 17-year-old Schmutzler becomes the second youngest player to ever appear at the Alexandra Palace. He secured his spot by coming second on the PDC Development Tour Order Of Merit, showing a good level of form against some decent opposition. Ryan Meikle has had a time to forget at Ally Pally, losing in the First Round on both his appearances while only winning a single set on those appearances. The young German can continue his pain here.
* All match times are approximate as most will depend on the game that precedes it.
12:30 Steve Lennon v Madars Razma: Lennon To Have The Most 180s And Win The Match
14:30 John Norman v Chas Barstow: Norman To Win
19:00 Danny Lauby v William O’Connor: Lauby To Win
20:00 Fabian Schmutzler v Ryan Meikle: Schmutzler To Win
* An accumulator on these four best bets pays at approximately 33/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
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