The Premier League darts is really hotting up as we head into week 13. Birmingham is the venue this week and we have some very interesting match ups. As ever, our darting expert @JamesPunt has analysed every match in great detail. Check out his Darts Premier League Tips and preview for week 13 below…
Darts Premier League Tips : Mensur Suljovic vs. Michael Smith
Two players whose form is hard to read right now. Suljovic has only won four of his last four matches but there looked to be a slight upturn in his for last week. He beat Daryl Gurney 8-5 last week but it wasn’t a high quality performance from either player but he backed it up with a 6-2 win over Josh Payne in the German Darts Grand Prix with a 100 average, beat Dave Chisnall 6-5 in the 3rd round before just losing out to the in-form Rob Cross 5-6. Hardly earth shattering but an improvement.
Michael Smith’s form is confusing. He has reached two players championship finals and another semi-final and lost all three. Bully Boy lost all three to James Wade, the same player against whom he missed multiple match darts to win the World Series of Darts last November. He then went on to lose the final of the World Championship on New Year’s Day. That big televised major title remains elusive and that must be frustrating.
Smith Searching For Consistency
He was runner up to MVG in the Premier League last year but this year just hasn’t worked out and he sits bottom of the table with very little chance of making finals night. He has only won two of his last seven PL matches and one of those was a bit of a gift from Nathan Aspinall.
Suljovic on the other hand has finally got going in the PL and has won five of his last seven, moved up to 5th place and is very much in the mix.
Smith had been winning a lot of matches this month. Before his match with Gerwyn Price in Cardiff last week he had played 23 matches in April and won 18. He lost 5-8 to Price despite averaging 99. He then went to Germany and lost 0-6 to Ricky Evans with a paltry 84 average. I can only assume he wasn’t feeling well as there has been a bit of a bug going round.
Slow Suljovic Can Make Smith Suffer
So Smith may still be feeling under the weather and he knows in his heart of hearts that his premier League campaign is effectively over. Motivation may be his problem tonight, especially if he is feeling unwell.
Suljovic won their first phase match 7-2 and has a 9-6 H2H record over Smith. His deliberate, slow throwing style is not what Smith likes. He is a fast player and Suljovic can knock Smith out of his rhythm.
Darts Premier League Tips: 1 point Mensur Suljovic to win @ 2.60 with Sportingbet
Darts Premier League Tips: Rob Cross vs. Gerwyn Price
Cross is another player whose form as been affected by illness recently and as such his form isn’t clear. He has won six of his last ten and reached the semi-final of the German Darts Grand Prix at the weekend before the inevitable thrashing by MVG. His form in March was excellent.
He was runner up to Nathan Aspinall in the UK Open and then played 12 matches with 11 ton plus averages. He was runner up MVG in the European Darts Open and for all that excellent form all he had was two runner up spots. That will have been very frustrating.
Cross Looks Back To Best
His recent illness had a negative effect on his game but it looked like he was back last weekend in Germany. He beat Daryl Gurney 6-5 in a fantastic match. Gurney was near his best and it was two top players slugging it out, hitting big numbers and Cross averaged 111 to Gurney’s 102. Cross then beat Suljovic in another 6-5 thriller and he averaged 105 in that match before collapsing to a 1-7 loss to MVG with an average of 89. Clearly he has issues with playing MVG.
Gerwyn Price has also won six of his last ten matches. Both players have won three of their last four PL matches. Cross won their first phase match 7-4 and has a 4-2 H2H record over Price. Cross deserves to be the favourite here but 1.95 looks a little short given what Price is capable of these days. No bet.
Darts Premier League Tips: No Bet
Darts Premier League Tips : Daryl Gurney vs. Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney badly needs a win this evening. He is on 12 points and is only two points off the play off places but he has a leg difference of -5. Only points won will do. His form is mixed. He won the German Darts Championship at the end of last month but since then he has won four matches, drawn one and lost five, including four of his last five. That sounds poor but he played really well vs. Cross in Germany and just came up against a player who was playing incredibly well. His last ten matches have seen five ton plus averages. He lost two of those and drew another.
Peter Wright was reduced to playing with a set of wobbly darts last week as he tries to find form through his equipment. That is a hopeless state of affairs but he has now said that he will stop tinkering. He has finally acknowledged that all the changing of his darts is detrimental to his game. No shit Sherlock, but haven’t we heard all this before? He has always been a tinkerer but was still playing a very high level. He is still tinkering but now he isn’t playing at the same level.
Off Oche Issues Effecting Snakebite
So what’s his problem? He says he knows and he is close to rediscovering his best form but I would suggest that he just has too much going on in his head. His wife wasn’t well and required an operation. His wife is a big part of team Snaky and it will have been a huge distraction for him. He has said that darts hasn’t been his number one priority in recent weeks which is understandable.
Snakebite is also under huge pressure to defend his world ranking. He has already slipped to number 5 in the world rankings, one place below Daryl Gurney. He is defending a lot of ranking money this season and to defend it he has to play every event going, ill wife or not. His schedule has been ridiculous and between travelling to Euro Tour events, player’s championship events and the Premier League he rarely gets home for more than a day or two if that.
It is s vicious circle. He isn’t playing well, he is burnt out but has to defend his ranking by playing everything, doesn’t play well, loses slips down the ranking, changes his equipment, travels, loses and so it goes on. He needs a rest but he can’t risk it because he is defending his ranking. Sadly he isn’t defending at all.
Wright In Danger Of Burning Out
He is burning himself out trying, probably feeling a bit guilty about being away from home while his wife recuperates. He would be better taking two weeks holiday and sod the rankings. A refreshed Peter Wright might then come back and start winning again. Sometimes you just need to stop the world, get off and have a rest. MVG does it….but he has the luxury of not having to worry about his world ranking.
Maybe he can do that when the PL finishes but until then, and we have four weeks to go in the league stage, he will be knocking his pan in, playing and travelling. Wright has won four of his last ten matches, the same as Gurney. But, his wins have come against player’s way down the rankings and he is really struggling against the elite players. He hasn’t won a PL match since 7th March, eight weeks ago and that was against whipping boy Raymond van Barneveld.
These two drew in the first phase but Gurney is playing better than Wright right now despite losing matches. Wright does have a very good H2H record over Gurney, 14-7, but this is all about the now. Gurney can get a bit stuck if his first dart goes low in the twenty segment but that has been getting better as demonstrated by his heavy scoring.
Darts Premier League Tips: 2 points Daryl Gurney to win @ 2.20 generally available
Darts Premier League Tips : James Wade vs. Michael van Gerwen
On recent form the two best players in the world. James Wade has won three players championships this month (it should be pointed out that Van Gerwen didn’t play in those events) but Wade hasn’t been in as good form in the PL.
He has won two of his last seven matches in the league but he has only lost two. His wins where against out of form Peter Wright and bottom of the league Michael Smith. So his stage form is some way short of his floor form.
Birthday Boy MVG looks Better Than Ever
Van Gerwen turned 30 today and he won his 30th Euro Tour title at the weekend. He is in something like top form and that means Wade is looking at a hiding tonight. MVG has won eight of his last ten matches with one draw against Daryl Gurney.
His defeat was in the German Darts Championship when Keegan Brown played a perfect game with 100% on his doubles to win. In his last fifteen matches he has averaged over 100 thirteen times. His last five PL matches have seen him average over 100 and his last two 107 and 109. Awesome stuff.
James Wade won their first phase match 7-3 but MVG was a little subdued that night and averaged only 93. He will be better than that tonight. Their H2H record is 34-16 to MVG so it is a respectable one for Wade who can give anyone a game when he is on form.
Fatigue Could Be A Factor For Wade
The deciding factor he might just be that Wade could be a bit jaded after playing a lot of darts this month. He has been doing the full PL, player’s championship and Euro Tour schedule. MVG hasn’t played any player’s championships since mid-February in order to keep his schedule that bit easier and keep himself fresh.
MVG will want to celebrate his birthday in style, strengthen his grip on the top at the top of the table and get revenge for that first phase defeat by Wade.
Darts Premier League Tips: 2 points Van Gerwen to win -2.5 legs @ 1.80 With Marathon Bet, Bet365, Betvictor