Mitchell aims to find form
The 2015 BDO World Darts Championship winner Scott Mitchell returns to Lakeside this year as the number four seed and has been handed a first-round draw against Lithuania's Darius Labanauskas as he looks to become only the ninth ever multiple winner of the tournament.
Scotty Dog's finest moment of his career came three years ago when he clinched a 7-6 victory over Martin Adams in the final.
In the deciding set against the former three-time winner, Mitchell broke the throw with a 158 checkout in what proved crucial in the tight contest. The victory in the competition helped him to secure the number one spot in the world rankings at the end of the season.
However, since he lifted the trophy in 2015, Mitchell has failed to go beyond the quarter-final of the world championship. In 2016 Dutchman Richard Veenstra put him out in the last eight while, 12 months ago, he could go no further than the second round when Geert de Vos defeated him 5-2.
There were signs recently in the Finder Masters that Mitchell was playing some of his best darts again as he advanced to the semi-finals of the televised tournament. He is available at 1212/1 in the outright market for the 2018 world championship and only has Glen Durrant and Danny Noppert ahead of him in the betting heading into the tournament.
Mitchell's first-round opponent Labanauskas is making his fourth appearance at Lakeside this year. His best run came in 2017 when he made it as far as the quarter-finals following victories over Conan Whitehead and Krzysztof Ratajski before falling to number one seed Durrant.
In the match betting for the first-round contest, Mitchell is available at 2/5, while the unseeded man from Lithuania is 2/1 to cause a surprise on the opening day of the competition.
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