Wayne Mardle believes Raymond van Barneveld is capable of enjoying a big run on his World Championship return | Darts News

Van Barneveld will begin his 29th World Championship campaign with a draw against Lawrence Illagan. Five-time world champion could face 2018 winner Rob Kroes in the second round

Last update: 12/10/21 10:59 AM


Raymond van Barneveld will return to the World Championship against Lawrence Ilagan on December 20

Raymond van Barneveld will return to the much-anticipated Alexandra Palace at this year’s World Darts Championships, and Wayne Mardel believes the Dutchman can make a real impression in the capital.

The five-time world champion withdrew from the sport in his last appearance with Ally Pally in 2019 after a shock 3-1 defeat to Darren Young, a night he described as the worst of his illustrious career.

However, just weeks after regaining his spot on the PDC circuit at qualifying school in February, Van Barneveld secured his first standings title since 2013 in the Players 3 Championship, and has enjoyed a solid season following his competitive comeback.

The stars are preparing for the World Darts Championship, will you be there to join them?  Coverage begins Wednesday, December 15th on Sky Sports Darts

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The stars are preparing for the World Darts Championship, will you be there to join them? Coverage begins Wednesday, December 15th on Sky Sports Darts

The stars are preparing for the World Darts Championship, will you be there to join them? Coverage begins Wednesday, December 15th on Sky Sports Darts

“I supported Barney!” Mardel said. “If a little miracle happens, I want a part of that miracle.” Sky Sports.

“I watched him play – I was doing a show with him just a few days ago in Hastings. He went and won it!”

“There was only Rob Cross, Johnny Clayton, Devon Petersen, Fallon Sherrock, Paul Nicholson, and me there. He annihilated everyone!”

“I think at 200/1, it’s a very high price. If he plays well and he can keep himself together, he has to tie them together, he can run.”

The Dutchman shone in the finals of the last Players Championship, before losing 6-3 to Van Gerwin in the second round.

The Dutchman shone in the finals of the last Players Championship, before losing 6-3 to Van Gerwin in the second round.

The 54-year-old will face Philippine World Cup mascot Lawrence Ilagan in a tough opening match, while a second-round showdown against 2018 champion Rob Kroes awaits the winner.

Kroos dominates the duo’s head-to-head record, despite Van Barneveld winning both of their meetings in 2021 – the first of which led to RvB’s run to professional glory in February.

Veteran Dean Hague is set to equal Phil Taylor’s tally of 29 World Championship matches later this month as he seeks to score his first World Championship win since the 2018 edition.

“If he was going to get to the round of 16, and he was due to open the lottery, all of a sudden people would give him: ‘He couldn’t? “

Most posts from the World Darts Championships

Steve Peyton – 31 (21 PDC, 10 BDO)
Phil Taylor – 29 (25 PDC, 4 BDO)
Raymond van Barneveld – 29 (15 PDC, 14 BDO)
John Lowe – 28 (12 PDC, 16 BDO)
Mervyn King – 26 (15 PDC, 11 BDO)
Martin Adams – 26 (0 PDC, 26 BHD)
Paul Lim – 26 (14 PDC, 12 BDO)

“It would be cool, wouldn’t it? It’s a romance story. It’s one of those stories you can remember. It’s like Steve Peyton is going to step back the years, or play Paul Lim really well again. It takes me back!”

“We remember Peyton, Paul Lim and Barney, but are they able to win and run? When I say win, I mean the games, I’m not entirely sure they can win the event.

“Barney, can he make it to the quarter-finals? Why not. He has the ability, but I’m not entirely sure the belief is there quite yet.”

Despite suffering a group stage exit at a Grand Slam last month, Van Barneveld showed promising signs in his big comeback to the stage, scoring an average of 104 in the opening game of the Players Championship final, before succumbing to Michael van Gerwin in the second round.

“You look around and whoever looks Barney in the eyes gives it to you: ‘Maybe Ray. Ray may be! “I just want him to have a little faith. If he’s got it, then oh my God!”

Mardel on Barney’s World Championship chances

It took over ton-plus averages of Michael Smith and Gary Anderson to account for the Dutchman at a Grand Slam, and Mardel admits he is “excited” to see Van Barneveld return to the world championship stage.

“He played really well against Michael in the Players Championship. You know me, I’m all about what they do, not actually what they beat and I watch the players like hawks.

“He was in his comfort zone, he wasn’t panicked and he looked really good. He looked really good. I’d like to see him play well, I would really do it.”

“I’d like to see him meet Van Gerwin, that would be in the quarter-finals. If that were to happen, after the biscuits they’ve had over the years, can we expect another one? Maybe!”

Van Barneveld's last Alexandra Palace appearance ended with a heartbreak in 2019

Van Barneveld’s last Alexandra Palace appearance ended with a heartbreak in 2019

“I think that’s why I’m a little excited about Barney. I think he can play to a level where he can take a long way.

“You get to a certain point in the tournament and you actually think: ‘One of us has to win this.'”

“You look around and whoever looks Barney in the eyes gives it to you: ‘Maybe Ray. Ray may be! “I just want him to have a little faith. If he’s got it, then oh my God!”

It wasn’t long before you had the darts game back on your screens which is the World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace – join us at Sky Sports For each share of each session over the course of 16 days, beginning Wednesday, December 15th.

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