We are approaching the business end of the first phase of the Premier League Darts season and when night 13 takes place in Glasgow on Thursday it is a pivotal evening of action for those chasing the top four spots.
Three of the four spots for the final night in Berlin look pretty safe so there is a five way battle for the last spot of which two players are close to needing snookers if they don’t already require them. It makes for an interesting evening.
Peter Wright vs Gary Anderson
The opening match of the night will be the one the crowds will be wanting to see as the two Scottish heroes collide when Peter Wright takes on Gary Anderson in a clash the latter simply has to win if he wants to remain relevant in the competition.
Anderson has won a night this season but in the other 11 weeks he has picked up just a solo match win, albeit he missed one of the evenings through illness. Clearly that isn’t going to get the job done regardless of the format of this competition and Anderson needs three special weeks in the last four just to have any hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. Wright has no such concerns but he has found himself dropping to fourth in the table and despite claiming he was going to use his World Championship darts regularly, he changed last week and duly lost. We don’t know what darts Wright is going to use and in truth we don’t know how motivated Anderson remains so this is an easy match to sit out even though Wright has won three of their four Premier League meetings this term.
Jonny Clayton vs James Wade
When you look at the evening on paper the pick of the quarter finals is the second one as the current Premier League leader Jonny Clayton takes on the form man James Wade who will have a chance of ending the night on top of the table if he wins this match.
Clayton had a spell in the middle of the season where he didn’t perform to his best but he is back to something close to his best form now. Wade has caught fire in the last month or so and there is every chance that this will be a very good match, much like their final was in Dublin last week. Wade got the better of that contest but he had the throw in it. Clayton has the throw here which might prove to be the difference. Wade actually leads 3-2 in their meetings this season though and he is definitely being underestimated in this match but it is one which could go either way so I’d rather employ my powder elsewhere.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THIS TOURNAMENT! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Gerwyn Price vs Michael Smith
The third match of the evening is pivotal for the two men involved as fifth placed Gerwyn Price takes on a Michael Smith who is the only player in the field who hasn’t won one of the evenings to date and who is in urgent need to rectifying that if he is going to keep his semi-final hopes alive.
Price sits fifth in the table going into this week but that comes with the caveat that he had to miss a night and has spent most of the season nursing a hand injury. It is interesting that Price chose to give the European Tour event a miss at the weekend to concentrate on his Premier League campaign. He has never won this tournament and was obviously forced out of it on the eve of it beginning last year and he is desperate to add this crown to his collection. Smith has never won it either and he’ll take a TV title of any kind at the minute. I do think Smith has been the unlucky man in this competition because he hasn’t played too badly overall, he has just had a tendency to miss doubles at the wrong time and it has cost him. In terms of average there isn’t a lot between these two this season but even though he has played one match more, Smith has 17 more 180s and has a 6% better checkout rate than his rival here. That makes me think he is overpriced to come out on top here.
Michael van Gerwen vs Joe Cullen
The last of the quarter finals sees the new Austrian Darts Open champion Michael van Gerwen taking on The Masters winner Joe Cullen in what should be a competitive contest. Whenever these two meet the mind goes back to that incredible World Championship clash they played out a couple of years ago and if this is half as good as that it will be some watch.
Van Gerwen sits in second place in the league table but despite a good beginning to the season Cullen has fallen away and really is under pressure to win this match. He certainly isn’t going to be helped with not having the throw and in fact he won’t have the throw all night so anything he takes from the evening might be considered a bonus. MVG looks back to that confident animal that destroys opponents and you just don’t know which Cullen is going to turn up so I fancy the Dutchman to win here but that is reflected in the prices.
Back M.Smith to beat G.Price for a 3/10 stake at 2.50 with Betway