The 2019 Unibet European Championship is almost upon us. The tournament takes place from October 24-27th at the Lokhalle in Gottingen, Germany.
The event is a culmination of 13 European Tour events from the season, which provides the 32 qualifiers for this tournament, based on the final Order of Merit.
First up, St Helens’ born, Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall, takes on Belgium’s Dimitri Van Den Bergh. Chisnall is coming off the back of a spectacular performance at the World Grand Prix, in which he made it all the way to the final.
Since changing his darts, ‘Chizzy’ has found his best form again. He has always been a power scorer and big ‘180’ hitter, but recently the 39-year-old has become a lot more consistent on the oche.
Despite losing in the final of the World Grand Prix to world number one, Michael Van Gerwen, Chisnall has been playing some of the best darts of his life. Prior to his run in the Grand Prix, Chisnall hit a nine darter in a non-televised tournament.
Going into this weekend, the St Helens man has nothing to lose and is looking to go one better and get his hands of the European Championship trophy.
Next up the following day is Stephen Bunting. ‘The Bullet’ faces fellow Englishman, Kegan Brown. Liverpool’s Bunting has also been playing some of his best darts recently, and will fancy himself to go deep into this tournament again this weekend.
He told MerseySportLive, “I’m feeling really good going into the Europeans. My form isn’t too bad and I am enjoying playing consistently lately.”
The 34-year-old wanted to quit darts not so long ago, but is now playing great darts again and believes he is a force to be reckoned with.
On his first round draw with Kegan Brown, Bunting had this to say: “I’m happy with the draw. Kegan is a cracking player but as of late he hasn’t been playing his best, so I’m hoping he doesn’t rediscover his form this weekend.”
Finally, St Helens’ Michael Smith, faces a tough test in his first round match against Ian ‘Diamond’ White. The 2019 World Championship finalist featured in last weekend’s Champions League, where he made it to the semi-final. Unfortunately for Smith, ‘Snakebite’ Peter Wright played fantastic darts and ran out an 11-5 winner.
Smith has broken into the world’s top 5 darts players, and has been showing glimpses of his best darts again. Fellow darts player, Daryl Gurney, believes Smith is one of the most naturally gifted arrow smiths on planet Earth, and it is only a matter of time before he wins some big tournaments.
Providing both Bunting and ‘Bully Boy’ win their first round matches, the pair could meet in the last-16 of the tournament. This would set up a mouth-watering Merseyside clash for darts fans.
All three of Merseyside’s best dartists will believe they can win the European Championship, and are hopeful of getting their hands on the trophy come Sunday night.
Photo – Sven Mandel – Creative Commons Licence