PDC World Darts Championship 2020: Dave Clark's five players to watch at Alexandra Palace

Dave Clark
Getty Images

The 2020 PDC World Darts Championship begins at Alexandra Palace on Friday night.

Michael van Gerwen is searching for a fourth title and third in four years after his 7-3 victory over Michael Smith on New Year's Day.

The Dutchman currently reigns supreme as world no1 and is the favourite to triumph once again in north-west London.

However, there are several other players in the frame - including Van Gerwen's compatriot Raymond van Barneveld, who is playing in his final tournament before retirement.

Here, Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark runs through his five players to watch...

Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen (Getty Images)

It’s hard not to start with the world no1 as the defending champion and a three-time winner here, plus he’s already won seven other titles this season.

But he’s never successfully defended the world title and I think that’s because he can put too much pressure on himself.

This time could be different as the draw’s worked out pretty nicely for him.

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price (Getty Images)

The Welshman’s a former rugby player in both league and union, and he’s used that training pretty well when it comes to the big matches.

He’s a proper fitness fanatic which you wouldn’t say was usual for a darts player. So in a big tournament and in long matches he doesn’t tire.

He’s won big, too — back-to-back Grand Slam titles ­—­ so he’s in with a shout.

Nathan Aspinall

Nathan Aspinall (Getty Images)

He’s something like a 40-1 shot, which is crazy as I think he’s a really good player and I’d back him looking at the draw to make it to a semi-final against Michael van Gerwen.

And I genuinely think he could cause him problems.

The lad from Stockport, who was a pretty good goalkeeper in his younger days, is again among that new breed of players in that he’s lean and pretty fit as well.

Dave Chisnall

Dave Chisnall (Getty Images)

‘Chizzy’ may only be ranked 10th in the world rankings and is a 25-1 shot, but again I think he’ll take up one of the spots in the semi-finals.

He went off the boil for a couple of years, fell out of the Premier League and a lot of people thought he was finished, but he’s proved himself again to be a heavy scorer and a good finisher, too.

He’s twice a quarter-finalist here.

Raymond van Barneveld

Raymond van Barneveld (Getty Images)

It’s only two years since Barney made it to the semi-finals at the Ally Pally and, on that day, he had a three-dart average of 109 only to meet Michael van Gerwen averaging 114.

On the back of the last year, you’d say Barney would struggle to get to the very end but everyone would love that fairytale finish.

He’s done so much for the game and deserves a big send-off.