World Darts Championship: Sky Sports’ Emma Paton makes her predictions, tips Josh Rock to star | Darts News


Emma Paton

Sky Sports News Reporter/Presenter @MissEmmaPaton

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports from 6pm on Thursday – Emma Paton gives her tournament predictions, tipping Nathan Aspinall and Josh Rock for big things and revealing who she thinks will lift the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 3

Last Updated: 12/12/22 11:19am

Emma Paton says watch out for Josh Rock and Nathan Aspinall at the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship

Emma Paton says watch out for Josh Rock and Nathan Aspinall at the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship

The World Darts Championship is back!

The best players on the planet will be in action at Alexandra Palace between December 15 and January 3, exclusively live on Sky Sports, with Peter Wright looking to successfully defend the title.

Ahead of Thursday’s opening night, at which Wright will be in action, Sky Sports Darts presenter Emma Paton has given her tournament predictions, including her surprise package and who she thinks will be lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy at the start of 2023…

Live World Darts Championship

December 15, 2022, 6:00pm

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Must-watch match of Round 1?

Willie O’Connor vs Beau Greaves. This is hard to call! Greaves is playing the best darts at the moment of the three women taking to the Ally Pally stage and O’Connor knows he’ll have to be on his game to beat her.

The 18-year-old has barely lost all year! Not only did she win eight consecutive Women’s Series titles in a row but she’s put in some good averages, too – a near 108 in beating Fallon Sherrock at the penultimate event was the real highlight.

O’Connor hasn’t been ultra-consistent this year and you just wonder what was running through his head when the draw was made. Who wins? I don’t know!

Speaking on the Love The Darts podcast, Mark Webster and Michael Bridge discuss how Beau Greaves will do on her World Championship

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Speaking on the Love The Darts podcast, Mark Webster and Michael Bridge discuss how Beau Greaves will do on her World Championship

Speaking on the Love The Darts podcast, Mark Webster and Michael Bridge discuss how Beau Greaves will do on her World Championship

Surprise package?

How many can I have?! One of my picks is Nathan Aspinall. Having made an incredible comeback from a potentially career-ending injury, The Asp is back to his best.

He’s got an interesting quarter with reigning champion Peter Wright in it, plus the likes of Dimitri van den Bergh and Jonny Clayton, but after making two major finals in the space of a few weeks at the World Prix and the Grand Slam, he’s shown he can battle with the best.

Nathan Aspinall is back near his best after overcoming a wrist injury

Nathan Aspinall is back near his best after overcoming a wrist injury

I also think he’s fighting for more than some others – he wants to be part of the Premier League next year which is just a bit of added motivation.

Talking of the Premier League, my other pick is Danny Noppert. He’s had his best year yet after winning a first major at the UK Open back in March but I still feel he might need to do something special to make the eight-man line-up and maybe a run at the Worlds is exactly that.

Unseeded player to watch?

It has to be Josh Rock. The 21-year-old is 47th in the Order of Merit heading into the World Championship and is sixth favourite with the bookmakers to win the whole thing! That shows you just how incredible his debut year in the PDC has been.

Josh Rock told Sky Sports recently that he will do everything he can to become World No 1 and world champion

Josh Rock told Sky Sports recently that he will do everything he can to become World No 1 and world champion

I reckon every player watching the draw at the end of November was hoping and praying they didn’t draw Rock. It’s Jose Justicia up first for the Northern Irishman before a potential showdown with Callan Rydz on Saturday night, so expect fireworks!

For someone who’s played just a handful of matches on the big stage (one of which included a nine-darter against Michael van Gerwen) he’s clearly taking it all in his stride and relishing every opportunity. I expect Saturday to be no different!

And the winner is…

Michael van Gerwen. I just can’t see past him! MvG has won every major on Sky Sports this year bar one and played some ridiculous darts at times. I think it’s fair to say this is the most convincing Van Gerwen has been over the last couple of years and more like the dominant Dutchman he was at his peak.

The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year's World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

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The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year’s World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year’s World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

Along with the Premier League, the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix, he also picked up a seventh Players Championship Finals win of his career just a matter of weeks ago, really showing that he’s playing the best darts out there at the moment.

I think back to the World Matchplay, which ultimately came down to a showdown with him and Gerwyn Price in the final. Van Gerwen wasn’t at his best for the first few rounds but when it came to the punch he found those extra gears.

I think the format of the World Championship suits him and the three-time champion is clearly in a confident mood by already claiming he’s the man to beat. Well, I can’t argue with that!

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts – from December 15 to January 3. Coverage of the opening night begins at 6pm on Thursday.



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