Five key contenders to look out for at the 2017 BDO World Championship

Holland's Noppert celebrates (credit:PDC)

The BDO World Championship returns for a new dawn at Lakeside this January and we've picked out five capable contenders to claim the prestigious crown.

Darts' alternative World Championship sees the BDO's big names battle it out for £300,000 in prize money across nine days of action, with both men's and women's world titles up for grabs.

Channel 4 will broadcast daytime coverage, while BT Sport will screen evening sessions after the BBC ended their 38-year involvement with the competition following the 2016 event.

Scott Waites returns to Frimley Green as defending champion but looks to have his work cut out if he is to add a third world title to his tally given the superior form of his rivals.

Here are our five in-form hopefuls expected to vie for glory...

Glen Durrant @ 7/4 with Sportingbet

Duzza heads to the spiritual home of world darts as the red hot favourite for a maiden Lakeside title, and on the basis of his ruthless form over the past 12 months, it's not hard to see why.

The runaway BDO number one helped himself to eleven titles in 2016, including a successful defence of his World Masters crown, affirming himself as the dominant force on the circuit. 

The proud Teessider also enjoyed an impressive debut in the Grand Slam, finishing runner-up to Gary Anderson in Group E before going down 10-7 to Raymond van Barneveld in the knock-out phase.

It looks for all money like this will be his last crack at Lakeside glory before making the switch to the PDC and he will be determined to bow out in a blaze of glory after Quarter-Final and Semi-Final heartbreaks in his last two visits.

Danny Noppert @ 13/2 with Unibet

Noppert has made impressive strides in the BDO ranks within a short space of time, surging to number three in the overall men's rankings.

The highly-rated 25-year-old was a semi-finalist on home soil in the 2015 Zuiderduin Masters but has found the winning formula this year, going on to pick up five titles including the Scottish Open and German Open.

Some outstanding finishing led Noppert to the Last 16 of the Grand Slam last November, in which he defeated Mensur Suljovic and Nathan Aspinall in finishing runner-up in his group before taking Gary Anderson all the way to a deciding leg in the knock-out phase.

Testament to the ability and nerveless character of the Dutchman, he has been installed as the second favourite to claim the BDO's top title in his debut campaign.

Jamie Hughes @ 12/1 with BetVictor

Hughes has been a regular at the business end of major BDO tournaments in recent years, following up his runner-up spot in the 2014 World Masters with a run of the Semi-Finals of the 2016 Lakeside Championship and World Trophy.

The former Zuiderduin Masters champion returns to Lakeside as the fourth seed and will be hoping to produce his trademark scoring power in an attempt to mount a serious challenge for silverware.

The Black Country thrower thrived in front of his home crowd at the recent Grand Slam, defying the odds to top his group which also included James Wade, Dave Chisnall and James Wilson, before being agonisingly defeated in a last-leg decider by Chris Dobey.

Nicknamed 'Yozza', Hughes has carried that form forward, reaching the Semi-Finals of the World Masters and the final of the Zuiderduin Masters last month.

Dean Reynolds @ 20/1 with Betfred

Reynolds enjoyed the best of both worlds in 2016, dominating the PDC Development Tour, while also climbing to fifth in the BDO ranking system.

The Welsh youngster comfortably topped the Development Tour Order of Merit after picking up six titles last season, thus earning a coveted two-year PDC Tour Card. 

That means this is likely to be Reynolds' last Lakeside campaign and the 24-year-old will be determined to bow out on a high and improve on a below-par First Round exit to Durrant last time out.

Reynolds' run to the Semi-Finals of the 2016 BDO World Trophy included memorable wins over Martin Adams and Danny Noppert, proving he has what it takes to cut the mustard on the televised stage.

Jeff Smith @ 28/1 with Boylesports

Canadian ace Smith is aiming to maintain his terrific record in this competition, having reached the Semi-Finals on debut in 2015, before going on to finish runner-up 12 months later.

Smith represented Canada alongside John Part in the 2013 PDC World Cup and has reached the final of four ranking events on home soil this year, winning two.

Nicknamed 'The Silencer', Smith edged Simon Whitlock to second spot in Group C of the 2016 Grand Slam before eventually going down 10-5 to Phil Taylor in the Round of 16.

Unseeded here due to his tendency to largely ply his trade in smaller events across the Atlantic, Smith will have to do it the hard way once again if he is to reach the latter stages, starting out in the Preliminary Round against Japan's Seigo Asada.

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Five key contenders to look out for at the 2017 BDO World Championship

The BDO World Championship returns for a new dawn at Lakeside this January and we've picked out five capable contenders to claim the prestigious crown.

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