Our darts expert Chris Hammer is back to bring you his best bets and predictions for the World Cup of Darts, which is taking place in Frankfurt.
It's always World Cup year in darts and unlike the football version, England and the Netherlands are pretty successful.
In fact, no other nation have got their hands on this annual pairs trophy in its seven previous stagings and only five players know what it's like to be part of the triumphing team.
Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis won four times for the English (2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016) while the deadly duo of Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld came out on top in 2014 and 2017, with Co Stompe partnering Barney back in 2010.
That said, quite how Paul Nicholson and Simon Whitlock didn't win it in 2012, the darting gods only know...
Considering neither the retired Power nor out-of-the-limelight Jackpot are taking part for England, who are instead represented by world champion Rob Cross and Dave Chisnall, you've got to rate the Dutch as worthy favourites at evens based on winning experience alone.
Not to mention that MVG is, well, MVG and Barney is still among the game's elite.
While the world number one barnstormed his way to a fourth Premier League Darts title, the latter finished a respectable sixth-placed finish thanks to wins over both MVG and Gary Anderson towards the end of the campaign.
Although the 51-year-old's primary focus is ending a four-year wait for another big individual major, the Sky Sports-televised World Cup comes a pretty close second as it still provides the adulation, attention and limelight he craves.
They'll both be fired up and van Gerwen also has the added motivation of wanting to put right the disappointment of his last appearance on TV - an 8-3 thrashing at the hands of Dimitri Van den Bergh in the German Darts Masters.
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Bottom half of the draw
- (2) England v Czech Republic
- New Zealand v Singapore
- (7) Belgium v Republic of Ireland
- Greece v Finland
- (6) Northern Ireland v Poland
- Sweden v Germany
- (3) Netherlands v Gibraltar
- Hungary v South Africa
I've listed the full list of competing nations and their representatives below but you only need a basic grasp of darting knowledge to appreciate the second-seeded Netherlands do have a pretty tough draw.
They'll see off Gibraltar and then either Hungary or South Africa but up next in the quarter-finals will come the young German stars of Max Hopp & Martin Schindler or, quite possibly, Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan.
If there are no shocks then you'll then expect them to meet England or the dangerous Belgium duo of Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh in the semi-finals so if you do back the Dutch at even-money, I doubt it'll be a particularly relaxing ride.
We all know Huybrechts is brilliant on his day - as demonstrated by his 121.97 average in last year's World Cup against Singapore's Paul Lim - and quite the opposite when it's not going so well, but alongside the world youth champion, Belgium are quite an exciting pairing.
Van den Bergh reminded us all of his fantastic potential at the German Darts Masters last Friday night by beating both MVG and Gary Anderson en route to the final, so I reckon they are worth a small bet at 9/2 to win the third quarter.
Cross has struggled to consistently show the same kind of form that saw him enjoy such an incredible debut season in 2017 while Chizzy isn't the force he once was at the moment despite a few encouraging result results on tour.
If Paul Lim & Harith Lim don't manage it in a potential second-round meeting, Belgium are more than capable of knocking them out in the last eight.
As for the top half of the draw, Scotland are hot favourites to progress to the final and can also be backed at a best of 3/1 to lift the trophy for the first time.
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Top half of the draw
- (1) Scotland v USA
- Denmark v Brazil
- (8) Austria v Japan
- Italy v Canada
- (5) Wales v Thailand
- Switzerland v China
- (4) Australia v Hong Kong
- Russia v Spain
They are, of course, represented by the world's number two and three in the world - Peter Wright and Gary Anderson - so on paper they really ought to go far.
However, it's well-documented that they don't get on so team spirit is hardly going to be their strength!
Last year Wright and Anderson were unceremoniously dumped out by Paul Lim's Singapore in what was one of the tournament's biggest ever shocks and you wonder how much the behind-the-scenes issues can have on their performances when playing together.
In 2012 they also suffered an early exit at the hands of South Africa but three years later they did manage to reach the final, only to lose to England.
I'm not predicting history will repeat itself against USA on Thursday night and they should be far too strong for Denmark or Brazil in the second round.
But German Darts Masters champion Mensur Suljovic is not an easy opponent for Anderson and he potentially lurks with his Austrian partner Zoran Lerchbacher in the quarter-finals and after that it's probably going to be 2017 runners-up Wales or Australia.
I'm actually favouring the Aussies from that second quarter of the draw at 13/8 while the 6/1 on them to reach the final is also appetising.
Simon Whitlock exceeded expectations during the Premier League Darts campaign to avoid relegation and while he finished eighth, he did register an impressive win over Gary Anderson towards the end of the season and drew 6-6 with Rob Cross in his last game.
Kyle Anderson hasn't shown his best form on tour this season but he reached the quarter-finals of the Dutch Darts Masters earlier in May and I think an occasion like this, when the top players do have less pressure on their shoulders, could be the perfect time to show his sparkling best.
Wales are their biggest threats in this quarter and while I'm not sure much faith can be rested on Gerwyn Price given his Premier League Darts nightmare, Jonny Clayton will be one to watch having won a European Tour title in Austria this season as well as reaching a Players Championship final.
Before I sign off, I'd like to wish my co-star of the Sporting Life Darts Podcast - the legendary John Part - the very best with his Canadian partner Dawson Murschell and I can only apologise for not backing them!
Recommended Bets: World Cup of Darts
2pts win Netherlands to win the World Cup of Darts 1/1 - Click here to bet
1pt Australia to win the second quarter at 13/8 - Click here to bet
1pt Australia to reach the final at 6/1 - Click here to bet
1pt Belgium to win the third quarter at 9/2 - Click here to bet
The World Cup of Darts runs from Thursday May 31 to Sunday June 3 and is live on Sky Sports.
For a full explanation of the format and details of the playing schedule, click here.
What nations are competing and who are their players?
- Scotland - Peter Wright & Gary Anderson
- England - Rob Cross & Dave Chisnall
- Netherlands - Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld
- Australia - Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
- Wales - Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton
- Northern Ireland - Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
- Belgium - Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Austria - Mensur Suljovic & Zoran Lerchbacher
- Brazil - Diogo Portela & Bruno Rangel
- Canada - John Part & Dawson Murschell
- China - Momo Zhou & Xiaochen Zong
- Czech Republic - Roman Benecky & Karel Sedlacek
- Denmark - Per Laursen & Henrik Primdal
- Finland - Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele
- Germany - Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
- Gibraltar - Dyson Parody & Justin Broton
- Greece - John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis
- Hong Kong - Royden Lam & Ho Yin Shek
- Hungary - Tamas Alexits & Nandor Bezzeg
- Italy - Michel Furlani & Alessio Medaina
- Japan - Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu
- New Zealand - Cody Harris & Warren Parry
- Poland - Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
- Republic of Ireland - Steve Lennon & William O'Connor
- Russia - Boris Koltsov & Aleksandr Oreshkin
- Singapore - Paul Lim & Harith Lim
- South Africa - Devon Petersen & Liam O'Brien
- Spain - Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas
- Sweden - Daniel Larsson & Dennis Nilsson
- Switzerland – Alexander Fehlmann & Andreas Bless
- Thailand - Thanawat Gaweenuntavong & Attapol Eupakaree
- United States of America - Larry Butler & Darin Young