The opening round of the 2021 World Cup of Darts continues in Jena on Friday as a further quartet of…
The opening round of the 2021 World Cup of Darts continues in Jena on Friday as a further quartet of seeded nations look to avoid an early exit.
Night One at the Sparkassen-Arena saw the big guns prevail with relative ease as defending champions Wales coasted through alongside Netherlands, Scotland and Australia.
Day Two of the World Cup of Darts features ties from the top half of the draw, with a number of top stars on show.
England are the joint-record four-time champions and launch their quest for further glory with an all-new pairing of James Wade and Dave Chisnall.
UK Open champion Wade is making his first appearance in this event since the inaugural staging in 2010, while Chisnall competed alongside Rob Cross in 2018.
The number one seeds start out with a tie against Brazil’s Diogo Portela and Artur Valle as they look to pull off what would be the biggest upset in World Cup of Darts history.
Belgium, the 2013 runners-up, open up with a clash against Greece as Dimitri van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts face John Michael and Veniamin Symeonidis.
The Belgian pair reached the Semi-Finals last year before losing out to England and have been regulars at the back end of this event over the last decade.
Greece, meanwhile, received a late call-up following the withdrawal of Croatia and will be out to grasp their opportunity of an upset.
One of the most closely-matched ties of the night sees 2019 finalists Republic of Ireland take on Portugal as William O’Connor and Steve Lennon take on José de Sousa and José Marquês.
Ireland suffered a First Round exit last year, while Portugal reached Round Two on debut, with Grand Slam champion De Sousa joined by a man who hit a nine-darter at Qualifying School in February.
Fifth seeds Northern Ireland aim to avert a third consecutive First Round exit when they take on Hong Kong.
Vastly experienced duo Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan were semi-finalists in 2016 and have both been in resurgent form of late, while Tour Card holder Kai Fan Leung is joined for the first time by Man Lok Leung.
Arguably the stand-out tie of the evening sees hosts Germany take on potential dark horses Canada.
Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp return in front of a partisan crowd in Jena, having reached the Semi-Finals behind closed doors last year.
Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell made the Quarter-Finals last time out and return with in-form Campbell having recently secured his Tour Card via the Challenge Tour to join his compatriot on the circuit full-time in 2022.
Elsewhere, Mensur Suljović and Rowby-John Rodriguez renew their ever-dangerous partnership for Austria as they take on Lourence Ilagan and Christian Perez of the Philippines.
Jesús Noguera and José Justicia pair up for the first time for Spain as they meet World Cup veteran Devon Petersen and Carl Gabriel of South Africa.
The opening match of the night sees Boris Koltsov and debutant Evgenii Izotov of Russia lock horns with newcomers Matsuda Jun and Yoshihisa Baba of Japan.
The action gets under way from 6pm BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of nine legs in pairs format.
World Cup of Darts 2021 Day Two Schedule
All times BST
Friday September 10
6.15pm Russia v Japan
6.45pm Spain v South Africa
7.15pm Republic of Ireland v Portugal
7.45pm Austria v Philippines
8.15pm Northern Ireland (5) v Hong Kong
8.45pm Germany (8) v Canada
9.15pm England (1) v Brazil
9.45pm Belgium (4) v Greece