The Premier League season is now entering its final stages. This is the 14th round of the competition and it will be held in Manchester. It promises to be an exciting night of darts with plenty left to play for. Only a solitary point separates 3rd from 6th, so the players will be motivated. James Punt has previewed every match, check out his Premier League Darts tips below…
Premier League Darts Tips: Rob Cross vs. Michael Smith
With three more rounds to play Rob Cross looks nailed on to make finals night. He will want to maximise his points however in order to avoid losing to MVG until the final. The runner up gets an extra £40000 compared to a losing semi-finalist. It is all about the money now.
H2H wise Cross has a dominant record over Smith with 11-3. In the last 12 months it is 4-2 and in the first phase of the League Cross won 7-3 but Smith was suffering with an injury at that point.
Smith has officially given up on reaching the play-offs. However, if he can overhaul Peter Wright he gets an extra £15000 in prize money. Again it is all about the money now. His recent form isn’t great with just four wins from his last ten matches. He did play in the Player’s Championship events on Tuesday and Wednesday but didn’t get past the third round in either.
Cross Should Be Fresh
Cross decided to give the mid-week Player’s Championship a miss in order to rest and stay fresh. The last few weeks have been hectic for these players and manging their schedule is becoming increasingly important as they prioritise the big events rather than playing in any tournament going. He has won six of his last ten matches.
His recent form can be said to be both good and disappointing. Cross wants to win titles, in some respects he needs to win titles. He is the world number two thanks to winning the 2018 World Championship. But, since then he has won one Player’s Championship event and one World Series event. This year he has got very close to adding to that tally. He was the runner up in the UK Open, Runner up in the European Open and lost two more Euro Tour semi-finals in the last two weeks.
No Value In Backing Cross To Win
It shows good form to get so far in tournaments but failing to win anything sticks out like a sore thumb. Anyway, this is a League match and the important thing here is not to lose and keep his place in the top four and preferably the top two.
Smith will be less motivated than Cross, has a poor H2H record with Cross and isn’t in good form. Cross to win but his odds of 2.00 are no more than fair.
Michael Smith might be bottom of the table but he tops the 180’s hit table with 48, ten more than Rob Cross. He topped the most 180’s market for the last two weeks in the PL with seven hit in both week 12 and week 11.
Premier League Darts Tips: 1 point Michael Smith to have more 180’s @ 2.16 with Marathon Bet
Premier League Tips: Peter Wright vs. Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright played in the mid-week Player’s Championship and will have been glad he did. His form this time last week was verging on dire and he was easily beaten by Daryl Gurney. Like Michael Smith he has virtually no chance of making the play offs and he is playing for pride and place money only.
However, he is also in search of his game which has gone AWOL. His form over the last two days will have pleased him and it looked like he may indeed have rediscovered his form. Getting back to winning titles might take longer but at least it looks like he has the tools to do it again.
Of course a few good games doesn’t mean he will be playing like he did two years ago but at least he knows that he can play well again. He has now won seven of his last ten matches and will be feeling much more confident than he was this time last week. He reached the last 16 of both PC13 and 14 (both 5-6 defeats) and in PC14 he beat Gary Anderson (remember him?) with an average of 114. His average over the two tournaments was 97.87 and he looked in very good nick.
Pressure Lifted Off Snakebite
The pressure is off Wright now, he doesn’t have to think about making the playoff and this is just good match practice for him. Suljovic on the other hand is very much involved in the fight to get to the O2 Arena for finals night. He faces Rob Cross and MVG in the last two league matches and this looks like a must win game. He played in yesterday’s Player’s Championship event but only won two matches and his scoring was pretty poor with two sub 90 averages.
On the very freshest form Peter Wright looks the favourite here. Suljovic has won six of their last seven matches but overall it is a closer 11-8 to the Austrian. Wrights form in the last twelve months has been poor, hence the big recent difference.
The outsider looks to be a big value opportunity here.
Premier League Darts Tips: 3 points Peter Wright to win @ 3.10 with Unibet
Darts Premier League Tips: Daryl Gurney vs. Michael van Gerwen
Daryl Gurney was the only player to win a match in last week’s Premier League and it kept his play-off hopes alive. He still has a leg difference of -1 so he needs wins and/or other results going his way. Playing MVG isn’t a great prospect when you need a result but he will face this match in a much more positive frame of mind than would have been the case 12 months ago. His H2H form against MVG is poor at 4-18 but his most recent matches against him has seen Gurney winning their PL match in Berlin 7-5 and beating him 11-9 in the final of the Players Championship.
MVG Has Had A Nice Break
MVG again skipped the Players Championship qualifiers in the midweek in order to keep fresh for his Premier League campaign. Daryl Gurney played in PC13 on Tuesday and reached the semi-final where he lost to eventual winner Willie O’Connor 5-7. He did look a little pissed off that he let a lead slip in that match but he will have been happy to have played well to reach the semi. He then decided to take Wednesday off to rest up for the big match this evening.
Van Gerwen has won nine of his last ten matches with one draw while Gurney has won seven of his last ten. He played some impressive darts in PC13 and hit 22 maximums, joint first in the tournament with Adrian Lewis. When Gurney is hitting a lot of maximums he becomes very hard to beat so that part of his game is always worth paying attention too. His overall average was only 94.4 thanks to two low averages against Kirk Shepard and Justin Pipe. However, he did average 105 when beating Vincent van der Voort 6-1.
Van Gerwen A Worthy Favourite
The bookmakers make Van Gerwen the 1.40 favourite. That is justified by their overall H2H form but not by their last two matches. The problem for Daryl is that MVG is in top form. Van Gerwen is managing his schedule better than anyone and is fully concentrated on this match.
Gurney can win this match but he will need his A+ game and not even his 105 average on Tuesday may be enough to get the two points. For MVG ton plus averages are the norm. He does lose his focus occasionally but I doubt he will this evening.
Gurney is back up to number three in the World Rankings and he didn’t get that from a Christmas cracker. He belongs in the group of players at the very top of the sport so he can beat anyone. He will be giving it his best shot and he can give MVG a run for his money.
Gurney can be backed at 1.83 getting a +3.50 handicap which makes some appeal. However, I will go for a better price on him to hit the most 180’s. He was really punishing the treble 20 on Wednesday. He has been a bit disappointing in terms of his 180’s hit record in the PL this year. However, he has still hit one more than MVG.
Premier League Tips: 1 point Daryl Gurney to hit the most 180’s @ 2.88 with Skybet
Premier League Darts Tips: James Wade vs. Gerwyn Price
This could be a cracker. Gerwyn Price did play in the midweek Player’s Championship events. While he only won four of six matches, he hit averages of 109, 102 and 106. He has won six of his last ten matches and he is one of the heaviest scorers around right now.
James Wade isn’t normally as heavy a scorer as Price but he has had his moments this year. He didn’t play in the midweek as he is well up the Player’s Championship rankings in any case having won PC 12, PC 11 and PC9 in recent weeks. He has faltered on the Euro Tour with just one quarter final from four events. Wade has won just one PL match in the last four weeks (two draws and a loss) so his stage form is shy of his floor form.
They drew their first phase PL match and both players have drawn five of their thirteen PL matches so far. They are tied on 15 points and another draw wouldn’t be a disaster. However, a win for either will be gold. James Wade has a 6-1-3 H2H record with Price but Prices’ form in the last 10 months or so has improved dramatically.
I can see a draw between two players in good form and who are both hard to beat.
Premier League Tips: 1 point drawn match @ 5.00 with BET365