We have reached the third week of the 2022 Premier League Darts season with the action heading over to Northern Ireland for another tournament between the eight competitors with £10,000 and league points at stake in Belfast.
Peter Wright won the first of the weekly events before the defending champion Jonny Clayton came to the party and took the night honours in Liverpool last week. All eight men will be determined to get over the line in Belfast.
Michael Smith vs Gerwyn Price
The action before with a repeat of the cracking World Championship quarter final between the eventual losing finalist of that competition in Michael Smith and the world number one Gerwyn Price.
Neither of these men have made a brilliant start to their Premier League campaign so even this early in the season you get the feeling that this is a big match. Smith is yet to win a quarter final and therefore has no points while Price only has one win and isn’t much better off. Price generally has the edge when these two meet and with Smith finishing very badly at the minute I would expect the former world champion to win this match but I’m not a massive fan of backing odds on shots without the throw so I’ll sit this one out.
Joe Cullen vs Michael van Gerwen
The second match of the night sees the man of the moment in Joe Cullen back on the stage when he takes on the former champion Michael van Gerwen who probably hasn’t had the start to his campaign that he would have wanted.
Cullen looks very much the man to beat at the minute and there are actually signs of what happened with Jonny Clayton last season about the ‘Rockstar’. Clayton won The Masters and never looked back throughout 2021 and Cullen is moving in a similar direction. He has won The Masters to make it in here and then made the final of the Premier League event last week before winning both Players Championship tournaments at the weekend. He heads to Belfast in exceptional form and if his finishing stays good he’ll take some beating. Van Gerwen has only won one of his three matches in the Premier League so far and looks to be lacking consistency to me. With the throw and the form he is in I’ll pay to see if Cullen can keep his finishing levels high and if he does then he should win this one.
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Gary Anderson vs Peter Wright
The third quarter final of the evening sees the two Scottish greats going at it when Gary Anderson and Peter Wright face off. This is actually their second meeting in the Premier League this season after they met at the semi-final stage of the opening night, a match Wright edged his rival out in.
They also met in the semi-final of the World Championship where once again it was Wright who came out on top so Anderson will be hoping that with the throw he can get some revenge. I always think these quarter finals are big for Anderson. He is the kind of player who the longer he plays the better he gets so he should be a man to beat if he can get through the quarter final. Getting through here is no given though even with the throw. We’ve seen both sides of Wright in the opening two weeks however. He was the world champion winning Wright in the first week and then the one which got wiped out at The Masters in the second week. Until we know what Wright we are getting regularly it isn’t easy to bet on his matches so I’ll leave this one alone.
James Wade vs Jonny Clayton
The last of the quarter finals on the third night of the tournament sees the former winner James Wade meeting the defending champion Jonny Clayton who will be looking to back up his win in Liverpool last week, although he has the terrible part of the draw where he throws second all night.
That isn’t a guarantee that Clayton can’t win the evening but in this elite field to win three matches against the throw is asking a huge amount but that certainly doesn’t mean he can’t beat Wade. Wade is off the mark for the season with a quarter final win over Gerwyn Price to open up proceedings but he was beaten in his opener last week. Clayton has reached a final and won a night in the first two weeks and it is hard to oppose him but once again without the throw I’m in no rush to chase a very short price.
Back J.Cullen to beat M.van Gerwen for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Coral
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