The 2021 European Darts Championship draws to a close in Salzburg on Sunday as the remaining eight players battle it…
The 2021 European Darts Championship draws to a close in Salzburg on Sunday as the remaining eight players battle it out for the title.
The £500,000 major is set for a fascinating climax at the Salzburgarena as six of the world’s top 16 stars, a home favourite and an in-form rising star vie for glory.
The afternoon session will play host to the four Quarter-Final ties, before the Semi-Finals and final are held in the evening.
Undoubtedly the pick of the Quarter-Final ties sees box office stars Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen renew their rivalry.
Van Gerwen is bidding for a record fifth European Championship title and a first PDC ranking title of the year to follow up last month’s triumph at the Nordic Masters.
The world number three began with a 100.5 average in a 6-2 victory over Boris Krcmar on Friday before thrashing former champion James Wade 10-4 in the Last 16.
Van Gerwen defeated Price in the Semi-Finals of the Players Championship Finals last November en route to claiming the title, though he has not tasted success in a televised ranking event since.
Price has won their two most recent meetings, including a thrilling 6-5 triumph in the Gibraltar Trophy with a 103 average to the Dutchman’s 105.
The world number one, who was runner-up in last week’s World Grand Prix, recorded the highest average of the opening round (104.53) in cruising past Ritchie Edhouse 6-2, before averaging 103 in a 10-3 demolition of Czech youngster Adam Gawlas.
Rob Cross is in the midst of a huge weekend in terms of protecting his ranking position, and the 2019 European Champion now comes up against Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa.
Cross, who is defending £100,000 on the Order of Merit, could drop ten places to 22nd if he suffers defeat to De Sousa, but ‘Voltage’ has sparked into life so far this weekend.
He began with a 6-3 win over Irish teenager Keane Barry, before powering past Brendan Dolan 10-4 with a 97.6 average on Saturday.
Despite admitting he has been struggling with eyesight problems and muscle pains of late, De Sousa has dug deep to reach his first European Championship Quarter-Final.
The Portuguese star saw off Lewis Williams 6-4 in Round One before edging out Luke Humphries 10-8 in a high quality contest on Saturday.
The opening match of the afternoon sees former UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall take on man of the moment Danny Noppert.
Aspinall is into his first Quarter-Final in four attempts in this event, having dispatched Mervyn King and Damon Heta to equal his best run in a major ranking tournament this season.
Noppert, meanwhile, has made it back-to-back major Quarter-Final appearances courtesy of wins over Krzysztof Ratajski and Ryan Searle with consecutive ton-plus averages and for the combined loss of just six legs.
The World Grand Prix semi-finalist is in the form of his life at present and has provisionally climbed to a career-high 15th in the Order of Merit as a result.
Joe Cullen aims to silence the partisan Austrian crowd when he faces home favourite Mensur Suljovic.
Cullen, semi-finalist three years ago, admits he is playing without pressure after recent personal issues and followed up his 6-0 whitewash of Ted Evetts in Round One with a commanding 10-5 success over William Borland.
The two-time Euro Tour event winner faces a test of character against a vocal Salzburg crowd – who roared Suljovic to victory over Florian Hempel in a nail-biting last-leg decider on Saturday.
World Cup of Darts finalist Suljovic is looking to continue his climb back up the rankings and reach what would be a second European Championship Semi-Final, having notably finished runner-up in 2016.
The action gets under way from 1pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.
European Darts Championship 2021 Day Four Schedule
All times BST (local time one hour ahead)
Sunday October 17
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4pm)
Danny Noppert v Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross v Jose de Sousa
Mensur Suljovic v Joe Cullen
Evening Session (7pm-10pm)
Price/Van Gerwen v Noppert/Aspinall
Suljovic/Cullen v Cross/De Sousa