Raymond van Barneveld sets sights on Phil Taylor scalp
PDC World Darts Championship
- Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
- Date: Thursday 15 December - Monday 2 January
Coverage: Live television coverage on Sky Sports 1
Raymond van Barneveld says he is aiming to emulate Mark Webster and knock 15-time world champion Phil Taylor out of the PDC World Darts Championship.
Taylor, beaten by Webster in the quarter-finals last year, is still favourite for a 16th world title.
But he faces a possible meeting with five-time champion van Barneveld this year if the pair progress to the last eight at Alexandra Palace in London.
"You can beat him with a 100 [three-dart] average," said van Barneveld.
"You just can't afford to miss your doubles. Mark Webster has proven that."
The tournament gets under way on Thursday and van Barneveld begins his campaign against debutant James Richardson on Sunday night.
PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - RECENT WINNERS
2011 Adrian Lewis
2010 Phil Taylor
2009 Phil Taylor
2008 John Part
2007 Raymond van Barneveld
2006 Phil Taylor
2005 Phil Taylor
The Dutchman is coming back into form, winning his last two exhibition events after a difficult period that has seen his Order of Merit ranking slip to eighth.
"I've gone back to the Shark grip darts that won me five championships and I've got the same slim flights that I had when I was averaging 108. It feels comfortable," he said.
"I don't know much about Richardson but I do know he got to a tour final in Germany. But I never underestimate my opponent."
Taylor will start his championship on Friday when he plays the winner of a qualifier between Japan's Haruki Muramatsu and Sweden's Dennis Nilsson, while reigning champion Adrian Lewis , who hit a nine-dart finish in last year's final, starts his defence on the opening day against Leamington Spa's Nigel Heydon.
Last year's beaten finalist and number four seed Gary Anderson plays Germany's Jyhan Artut, while third seed James Wade faces the winner of the match between Per Laursen and Petri Korte.
Sixth-seed Webster , who won the BDO World Title at Lakeside in 2008, faces fellow Welshman Richie Burnett, while Australian Simon Whitlock , ranked fifth, will play 2000 semi-finalist Dennis Smith.