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Ally Pally show-stealers
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Which player is a threat in the early rounds?

John Part said: Daryl Gurney and Steve West. The draw is factored in and how events may develop. Gurney has got a very strong game and has for quite a while. He seemed to not be too bothered by his hand injury at the Grand Prix in October so he should be 100 per cent by now. The draw is not easy but is certainly open to being rewarded for good play, let's put it that way.

West is also in that category. He's not been at his best television-level quite as much as Daryl - he's probably more of a dark horse, but he has hit some real tremendous scoring form lately and although he doesn't have an easy draw. If he does play well, there is a path for him through. These are the guys who can reach the top eight.

Dave Clark said: Dave Chisnall has a tough game against Rowby-John Rodriguez, who's a fast-emerging player. He's the World Youth runner-up.

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Rod Studd said: Mensur Suljovic - He'd have to play Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals, if he gets that far. You just think he's really made progress over the last couple of years. He used to be a journeyman darts players, ranked in the 30s. Somebody who gets that odd good result and has that idiosyncratic action that people talk about.

The way he demolished Phil Taylor 10-3 at the Europeans, and then Peter Wright, he's definitely taking strides forward. He's capable of doing it after averaging over 100 in tournaments now.

Rod Harrington said: Barney is coming into this World Championship with the best mindset that I've seen from him in four years. He's playing more tournaments now. He lost his edge but he's starting to get in the right mood. When he's smiling, he's focused.

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Mark Dudbridge said: Mensur Suljovic. He's uncanny. He gives us all belief that we can have a go, because he's done so well out of nowhere. I played him at the World Championships and didn't think much of him, but he's done brilliantly!

Who's your dark horse to win it?

Mardle: I've got a theory about this. Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor or Raymond van Barneveld reach the final from the top half. I'll go with Michael to win that top half, so he'll play the winner of Gary Anderson, Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright or Jelle Klaasen. I'd put Klaasen in that bunch, I really would. As a 50-1 shot he's got a great chance.

Keith Deller said: Everyone is looking at Jelle Klaasen. He's got the scoring power, his only problem is finishing. Scoring-wise, he can live with the big boys.

Clark: Jelle Klaasen is playing really well. He's good value.

Studd: Peter Wright - I think he's been in five big TV finals. Every time he's lost, it's been to Van Gerwen. You just feel if it wasn't Van Gerwen waiting for him then I think the breakthrough is ready to be made by Snakebite. I think he's ready to push his way through the door.

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Your favourite first-round tie?

Gary Anderson said: Mervyn King v Steve West, then you've got Barney and Robbie Green. Robbie's a good player, I think he can give Barney problems. James Wade v Ronny Huybrechts - that could be a toughie! Gerwyn Price against young Jonny Clayton (I call him young but he's older than me!).

Mardle: Robbie Green v Barney. I rate Robbie, he's a danger. Over a best-of-five format, Barney might be slightly nervous and Robbie is a tried-and-tested BDO championship semi-finalist. I think Robbie will fancy his chances.

Who's the best unseeded player?

Mardle: Kevin Painter will be very happy with his draw, no offence to Jamie Caven. Kev can turn over a seed. Dobey can beat Justin Pipe. Christian Kist can beat Brendan Dolan. Steve West won't fear Mervyn King. There's a lot of seeds that can go.

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Finally, what's your favourite World Darts Championship memory?

Mardle: When John Part beat Phil Taylor in 2003, then he shook his own hand. He clasped his own hand. He wanted to celebrate with someone, but had no one there. I thought that was amazing because Phil hadn't been beaten since 1994.

Deller: I've forgot! My final against Eric Bristow was like Dennis Taylor vs Steve Davis. I beat Eric in the final but I also beat John Lowe and Jockey Wilson, No 3 and No 2, so it was such a hard route. I believed in myself.

Part: It would be pretty ridiculous for me not to say winning the world title for a third time (against Kirk Shepherd) wasn't my favourite moment. It had been four or five years since I beat Phil Taylor to win my second crown and I hadn't had a whole lot of joy professionally.

Never really dominated or didn't have professional satisfaction should I say, so it was very reassuring and quite satisfying. I think I had the highest averages through the week on a consistent basis. I did play very well every single round.

Dudbridge: My final was good against Phil Taylor, but actually getting to the final by beating Wayne Mardle at the Circus Tavern was my favourite. That was his home patch so it was a great feeling.
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