This weekend the fifth annual World Cup of Darts takes place in Frankfurt, Germany. All 32 two man teams will be looking to topple last year’s winners the Netherlands. Twelve months ago Michael Van Gerwen and Raymond Van Barneveld beat the English pairing of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis in the final 3-0.
The Netherlands (3) – Michael Van Gerwen/ Raymond Van Barneveld
Despite being the reigning champions, the Netherlands are only seeded third for the tournament and this could prove to be a problem for the pairing later on in the competition. The Dutch have won two of the four previous World Cup’s and with the number one player in the world, they can’t ever be written off. Van Gerwen has been impressive in 2015, despite defeats to Gary Anderson in both the World Championships and Premier League he has still picked up the Masters and UK Open titles. Just this last weekend he retained the Dutch darts masters title, winning his fourth PDC European tour event in a row. Barneveld’s season has been a mixed bag, but every darts fan knows what he is a capable of on his day. Despite a poor season he still managed to reach the semi-finals of the Premier League before losing to Van Gerwen. Their first round tie is against the United States, with a potential second round game with the South African pairing which includes Devon Petersen
England (1) – Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis
The Stoke pairing that won the title in 2012 and 2013 look to regain their crown and the number one seeding will help them in their quest. They are in the easiest section of the draw and will avoid Scotland and the Netherlands until the final. Their potential semi-final opponents could be Belgium or Australia. Taylor will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the finals night of the Premier League for the first time in his career last month. While Lewis has also struggled this year, he has been able to win tour events, despite being largely disappointing at the TV majors. The pair, who are close friends, have a great record in the World Cup and should be able to do well again this year. Their opening match sees them play the Danish pairing of Per Laursen and Per Skau.
Scotland (2) – Gary Anderson and Peter Wright
Despite being shocked last year in the quarter-finals by Northern Ireland, Scotland come into the tournament high in confidence with both players enjoying good runs of form in 2015. Anderson stunned all to win his maiden World Championship in January, beating Taylor in a dramatic final. He then went on to win his second Premier League crown in May overcoming the favourite Van Gerwen. Peter Wright has also had a good year despite a poor showing in the Premier League in which he was relegated after week nine. A fantastic run in the UK Open saw him beat both Van Barneveld and Taylor on route to the final where he was defeated by Van Gerwen. The Scots could face the Netherlands in the semi-finals, but first they have to get past Singapore.
Australia are fourth seeds, but neither Simon Whitlock or Paul Nicholson have had much to shout about in recent times. Both were challenging for major honours a couple of years ago, but have struggled recently.
Fifth seeds Belgium may be seen as more of a threat to the top three, with brothers Kym and Ronny Huybrechts once again competing. Kym had a tough debut season in the Premier League which saw him finish bottom of the table.
Other household names will compete, such as Brendan Dolan and Michael Mansell for Northern Ireland. With former BDO world champ Mark Webster appearing with Jamie Lewis for Wales.
There are also 16 unseeded countries who will all be looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of the TV cameras such as Thailand and Singapore.
The competition will be shown live on Sky Sports June 11th-14th