Nobody Duzza it better

There is no other way of putting it, two-time defending champion Glen Durrant is quite simply the man to beat again at the BDO World Darts Championship.

Duzza has ruled the roost over the last couple of years, although he was pushed all the way to a final-set decider by Mark McGeeney 12 months ago, before eventually completing the successful defence of his title.

In his sights now is the opportunity to become only the second player ever to win three consecutive titles, following in the footsteps of the late, great Eric Bristow.

Durrant offers hope to rivals

With Durrant a strong 2.10 favourite to emerge victorious, the question is what hope can his title rivals take from the past few month?

Potentially the answer lies with Durrant having finally lost a major final, being beaten by Adam Smith-Neale 6-4 in the final of the Winmau Masters.

That is the only time the man from Middlesbrough has failed to win a major BDO final, winning on all other eight occasions.

Intriguingly, Durrant could meet Smith-Neale (34.00 to win the tournament) in the first round, with the latter determined to feature at the Lakeside despite breaking his right leg in late November and that clash could be the best opportunity of upsetting the champion, who has certainly been placed in the easier side of the draw.

McGeeney has it all to do

Having come so close to unseating Durrant last year, McGeeney (12.00) appears to have been given one heck of a tough draw, despite being the top seed for the tournament.

In his quarter of the draw he has Martin Phillips, Richard Veenstra (34.00) and two-time champion Scott Waites (21.00), while fifth seed Michy Unterbuchner and fourth seed Wesley Harms await as possible semi-final opponents.

Should he make it all the way to a second successive final, the Gladiator may well find himself facing Durrant once again.

Unterbuchner one to watch

German Unterbuchner made a stunning World Championship debut in 2018, making it all the way to the semi-finals, before being beaten 6-4 by McGeeney.

Earlier this year he proved that that was no fluke as he made the final of the World Trophy, so at 11.00 to be crowned champion, he may well be worth considering.

Meanwhile, 2015 winner Scott Mitchell (17.00) has struggled since his title run, losing out in the second round in each of the last two years. Placed in the bottom half of the draw which includes Durrant, he should fancy his chances of an extended run at the Lakeside.

The Hammer out to make a mark

Finally, two former PDC stalwarts, Andy Hamilton and Wes Newton, are also among the field for the BDO showpiece.

Hamilton reached the final of the PDC World Championship in 2012, so certainly has the pedigree to be a contender, even if he has to start against Canadian David Cameron in the preliminary round.

At 23.00 to win the title, he is an interesting outside prospect and one worth following if memories of his 2012 efforts start to come into play.