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World Championships: The Favourites
World No 1 Michael van Gerwen, two-time defending champion Gary Anderson and 16-time world champion Phil Taylor lead our rundown of the favourites for the William Hill World Darts Championship.

Surprisingly Van Gerwen has just one world title to his name but is unsurprisingly the odds-on bookies favourite to claim the crown after a dominant year.

That used to be the case for Taylor but he is without the world crown since 2013 and has talked of retirement, but is there room for a glorious swansong? The same could be said for five-time champion Raymond van Barneveld as well.

Anderson is bidding to become only the third man in history to win three successive world crowns, while Adrian Lewis has two to his name and has shown his ability to rise to the occasion at Alexandra Palace.

Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and James Wade are aiming to claim a first ever title so it promises to be an action-packed ride across the Christmas and New Year period.

Sky Sports Darts are showing live coverage of the tournament from December 15-January 2 and here's our look at the season so far along with their Sky Bet odds for a surprise title.

Michael van Gerwen - Sky Bet odds 8/11
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First round opponent: Ross Snook or Kim Viljanen

Last year at World Champs: L3-4 v Raymond van Barneveld (Third Round)

This Season: UK Open - Won; Premier League - Won; World Matchplay - Won; Grand Prix - Won; Grand Slam - Won; Players Championship - Won.

Experts Verdict: For all the things he's winning, he's somehow got to add to his world title tally. There's no point in him retiring in 10, 15 or 20 years time whatever it is and have one world title in the bank. That would be an absolute travesty. He's head and shoulders above everyone else barring Gary Anderson. Wayne Mardle.

Gary Anderson - Sky Bet odds 6/1
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First round opponent: Mark Frost

Last year at World Champs: Winner - beat Adrian Lewis 7-5 in final

This Season: UK Open - R4 ; Premier League - SF; World Matchplay - SF; Grand Prix - RU; Grand Slam - SF; Players Championship - R2.

Experts Verdict: He's an incredible darts player. I was the only pundit to tip him two years ago! He's always had incredible scoring power and now hits doubles under pressure. It wouldn't surprise me if he made it a hat-trick this year. Rod Harrington.

Phil Taylor - Sky Bet odds 9/1
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First round opponent: John Bowles or David Platt

Last year at World Champs: L3-4 v Jelle Klaasen (Third Round)

This Season: UK Open - SF; Premier League - RU; World Matchplay - RU; Grand Prix - R1; Grand Slam - QF; Players Championship - DNQ

Experts Verdict: You know Phil, he might win the tournament then want to have another go. He still averages 104 or 105 but he's got a tough route to the final - Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, and Michael van Gerwen. He'll prepare right for this one. Keith Deller

Peter Wright - Sky Bet odds 11/1
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First round opponent: Jerry Hendriks or Warren Parry

Last year at World Champs: L2-5 v Adrian Lewis (Quarter-Final)

This Season: UK Open - RU; Premier League - 5th; World Matchplay - QF; Grand Prix - R1; Grand Slam - SF; Players Championship - SF

Experts Verdict: I think five big TV finals. Every time it's been Van Gerwen. You just feel if it wasn't Michael 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. Rod Studd.

Dave Chisnall - Sky Bet odds 22/1
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First round opponent: Rowby-John Rodriguez

Last year at World Champs: L3-4 v Peter Wright (Third Round)

This Season: UK Open - R3; Premier League - 9th; World Matchplay - QF; Grand Prix - SF; Grand Slam - Group; Players Championship - RU

Experts Verdict: He tugs and snatches his darts so his body contorts all over the place, then the referee calls '180!' Incredible. Another player who looks like a champion. He's never crossed the line but we know he's good enough. Wayne Mardle.

James Wade - Sky Bet odds 25/1
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First round opponent: Ronny Huybrechts.

Last year at World Champs: L1-5 v Gary Anderson (Quarter-Final)

This Season: UK Open - R3; Premier League - 6th; World Matchplay - R1; Grand Prix - R1; Grand Slam - RU; Players Championship - R2

Experts Verdict: It hasn't been a vintage year for 'The Machine' but he made the final of the Grand Slam and beat Gary Anderson. He is arguably the best player never to have won the Worlds. He has the advantage of being in the opposite half of the draw to MVG and has every chance of going deep into the tournament. Rod Studd.

Adrian Lewis - Sky Bet odds 33/1
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First round opponent: Magnus Caris

Last year at World Champs: Runner-Up - L5-7 v Gary Anderson (Final)

This Season: UK Open - R5; Premier League - SF; World Matchplay - SF; Grand Prix - R2; Grand Slam - Group; Players Championship - R2

Experts Verdict: Adrian Lewis holds the record for most match wins along with Phil Taylor on the Alexandra Palace stage. He's won the tournament twice and was runner-up last year. I think Adrian struggles for motivation in other tournaments, but he comes alive at the Alexandra Palace and the World Championship. People should be very wary of Adrian Lewis. Rod Studd

Raymond van Barneveld - Sky Bet odds 40/1
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First round opponent: Robbie Green

Last year at World Champs: L3-6 v Adrian Lewis (Semi-Final)

This Season: UK Open - R4; Premier League - 7th; World Matchplay - R1; Grand Prix - SF; Grand Slam - QF; Players Championship - QF

Experts Verdict: He is coming into this World Championship with the best mind-set 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. Rod Harrington.
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+1 from me Hamo!

Putting all the time in to post all these is well appreciated by many!

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I'm backing Klaasen at 50/1. He got to the semis last year and has played some good stuff since.
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Backing Barney this year... I just think he's got the mind set now.
Darts in Use:
STEEL
League/Match Set: Voks 22g EL-C Crossover
Backup match set: Dynasty 20g Fallon Sherrock Soft tips (w/ Fit Point conversion points)
Home Board: Blade 4 Dual Core
SOFT
Match Set: Katana Kokutou Hisyou 17.5g  Softtips. (My principle soft tip set)
Backup Match Set: Bull's Mamba 97 16.5g
Home Board: Gran Board II

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Love Barney's steady throw. Also enjoy Gary Anderson and Snakebite!
Joe

22gm Target Carrera C4's
Started Darting October 2014
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