World Darts Championship: Raymond van Barneveld targets historic win over Gerwyn Price at Alexandra Palace
Gerwyn Price faces Raymond van Barneveld in third round of the World Darts Championship on Tuesday; Watch every dart from Alexandra Palace live on Sky Sports all the way through to the final on January 3
Last Updated: 27/12/22 12:26pm
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld insists he has the belief to end world No 1 Gerwyn Price’s title hopes when the two clash in third round of the World Darts Championship.
Van Barneveld is in the world's top 32 for the first time since 2019 after last month's impressive showing at the Grand Slam of Darts, where he defeated Price in the group stage and the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion Michael Smith in the last four.
The Dutchman opened his World Darts Championship campaign with a 3-1 victory over Suffolk's Ryan Meikle on December 20, setting up a last-32 showdown with Price, with Van Barneveld looking to claim another scalp over "The Iceman" on Tuesday and continue his resurgence.
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Speaking about the prospect of claiming a World Championship victory as 32nd seed, the same position he was in when he won in 2007, Van Barneveld said: "Different times, different times! Why not? It's all about belief. You can be the best player of the world, but it doesn't matter.
"At the end of the day you have to perform and Gerwyn knows what to do to beat me. We're going to play the best of seven sets and I'm looking forward to that game. I'm comfortable and I know what I can do, but at the end of the day it's me against Gerwyn. I don't look at him as the No 1 in the world - I don't mind. I play the board, I believe in myself and on a good day I can beat anyone.
"I read an article about Michael van Gerwen, where he said 'maybe Ray can't win the World Championship because it's in a longer format'. I beat Gerwyn in the group at the Grand Slam of Darts and everyone was thinking 'yeah, if Ray's playing against Gerwyn in the best of 31 he can't do this', but I did."
Price has lost all three meetings against Van Barneveld this year, including those two classic encounters in Wolverhampton, although he believes he has the quality to claim a maiden TV victory over the 55-year-old.
Speaking to the latest Love The Darts Podcast ahead of the tournament, Price said: "In the Grand Slam I was pretty steady but a lot of players were playing well against me, especially Raymond in the two games.
"I don't think he beat me. I bombed the two games because I missed chances. I failed to win seven legs on the bounce, which isn't my game.
"Raymond played really well but I think I lost the game rather than him winning, so if I get through the first round at the Worlds then I'll be more than ready for Raymond. I've never beat him on TV but I'm sure if I get through this will be the first time."
Part: 'Van Barneveld capable of Price upset'
Defeat for Price would see him lose significant ranking points and see him miss out on the last-16 for the first time in four years, with two-time world champion and Sky Sports pundit John Part expecting an intriguing contest between the two.
"Price wants to make things right as far as he sees it," Part told Sky Sports. "He has to fix it and you can't just keep losing to legendary figures of the past or be displaced by them in the present!
"He could go out of the tournament because of this and that would be, at this stage, severely costly to him in the rankings. Price needs to figure all that out and it's going to be exciting.
"Van Barneveld is such a legend of the game. The thought of him having a run, let's say like the Grand Slam to the semis, and potentially another world title if he gets that close, would be absolutely thrilling and we know he's capable.
"He's a five-time world champion and is very familiar and comfortable with the set format. If it wasn't enough that he beat him in the match play style at the Grand Slam, then he'll feel also very at home and with even more of an advantage because he has proven he loves sets."
Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship - live on Sky Sports Darts - all the way through to the final on January 3.