Five World Championship dark horses

Published on 4 December 2023 at 20:00

It's almost that time of year again. 64 of the world's best arrow-smiths, will be battling it out on the Alexandra Palace stage for the 31st edition of the PDC World Darts Championship. Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen will be going into the tournament as favourites, but as history tells us, anything can happen at the Ally Pally.



After wins at the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals, Luke Humphries is in the form of his life at the moment and goes into the competition as the man to beat. Despite this, 'Cool Hand Luke' has never managed to get beyond the quarter final stage of the competition.

According to bookies Humphries is the tournament favourite at 3/1, closely followed by Michael van Gerwen (4/1) and Gerwyn Price (5/1), but as Rob Cross showed us in 2018, it's not always the favourites who emergel victorious.


Read more: Can ANYONE stop Luke Humphries winning the World Championship?


Here's a look at five dark horses to keep an eye on in the 2024 World Darts Championship:


Stephen Bunting

It's been a good year for Bunting who at one point this season said "I'm playing the best darts of my life." His form has took him up to 18th in the World Rankings. Furthermore, 'The Bullet' has already earned World Champion status from his win at Lakeside in 2014. Unfortunately for Bunting, he has found himself on the same side of the draw as van Gerwen and would be set to play the Dutchman in the third round if he avoids an early exit. Despite this, the 38 year old has proven in the past he can beat anyone on his day.

Tournament odds: 33/1


Chris Dobey

In his debut Premier League season, Dobey has also had a good 2023 and has proved time and time again he can compete with the big guns. "Hollywood" also managed to win his first ever major this year, winning The Masters in January. Now 17th in the world, Dobey will fancy his chances against anyone going into the tournament and has been placed in the first section of the draw, arguably the most competitive. He is likely to face William O'connor in his opening match, which has the potential to set up a cracker against his countryman, Ross Smith in round three.

Tournament odds: 50/1


Gian van Veen

After tearing it up on the Youth Circuit for many years, 2023 is the year 'wonderkid' van Veen has became a man. The 21 year old is rapidly moving up the PDC rankings, currently sitting at 45. 'GVV' has also proved he can do it on the big stage this season as he reached the semi finals of the European Championships in Germany, defeating the likes of Michael Van Gerwen and Damon Heta in the process. Van Veen will face Hong Kong's Man Lok Leung in his first round match, which could set up a tasty tie against Gabriel Clemens.

Tournament odds: 50/1


Read more: 5 first round matches to look out at the 2024 PDC World Darts Championship


Andrew Gilding

Fan favourite, Gilding is in the form of his career at the tender age of 52 and like Chris Dobey, won his first ever major this year in the form of the UK Open. 'Goldfinger' now sits at an impressive number 20 in the PDC World Rankings but has never got past the second round at the Ally Pally, something that he'll look to rectify this time round. Gilding will probably play Luke Littler in his first game in what is a horrible draw against a young player, brimming with confidence. However, if he can see Littler off and break his second round curse, Gilding has the ability to go very far in the tournament.

Tournament odds: 125/1


Ricardo Pietreczko

The biggest outsider on this list, Pietreczko does happen to be on the same side of the draw as Luke Humphries but has shown this season he's a phenomenal talent on his day. 'Pikachu' won the 2023 German Darts Championship in front of a home crowd in October, beating Michael Van Gerwen and Peter Wright in the process. The World number 39 will face Japanese female sensation, Mikuru Suzuki in the first round. Should he emerge victorious from that he'll face an out of form Callan Rydz in round two.

Tournament odds: 200/1


Image Credit-Sandro Halank on Wikipedia


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