Reigning and defending back-to-back world champion Gary Anderson will be in action on the opening night, live on Sky Sports Darts & Sky Sports Mix from 7pm.
The world No 2 is aiming to the join the greats of the game as a three-time champion on the Alexander Palace stage and will be hoping for a comfortable night when he takes on Mark ‘Frosty the Throwman’ Frost.
“Everyone hates the first round – people who tell you that they’re not under pressure are lying, because you just want to get past the first round,” Anderson told the official PDC website.
“If you don’t, you have a rubbish Christmas! It’s very hard, you just want to win, and every player in the tournament will tell you it’s first round nerves.
World Darts Championship gets underway on Sky Sports on Thursday
“I know the standard of players now, and if you’re not on your game you’re going home. The standard is getting so high now and everyone can beat everyone.
“I’ll be giving it a shot. When I get there it will be a different Gary, I need to get the angry head on. If the right Gary turns up, watch out boys. If the wrong Gary turns up, you’ve got a chance.”
Frost, from Stoke-on-Trent, has qualified for the biggest tournament in world darts for the first time and now has his sights set on upsetting ‘The Flying Scotsman’.
“I’ve been playing 30 years and it’s every darts player’s dream to get there and to play on the Ally Pally stage is brilliant,” the 45-year-old scaffolder told Sky Sports.
“I get in [from work] about five o’clock and and get about two hours practice a night. I’ve taken two weeks off just to prepare. I know how good I can be, so does Gary, so does everybody. It’s doing it on the day.”
Also in action, 2004 World Championship finalist Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter will take on Jamie Caven to open the tournament before Jamie Lewis meets Mick McGowan and St Helens’ thrower Michael Smith faces ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans in a tasty tungsten tussle.
World Darts Championship is coming to TV screens near you
You can see all the action from the opening night from the Alexander Palace from 7pm on Sky Sports Darts HD & Sky Sports Mix. Don’t forget, you can send us your comments and predictions throughout this year’s tournament by tweeting us @SkySportsDarts … #LoveTheDarts
Sky Sports Darts can be accessed across TV, online and via mobile and tablet devices with Sky Go.
Six months half price
Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get six months half price!
Non-subscribers can either enjoy one or seven days access to the Sky Sports Darts channel and Sky Sports other six channels contract free on TV and a range of devices with NOW TV. Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get six months half price.