Premier League Darts Week 6 preview
A week ago in Exeter, punters had their fingers burned, as only one of the five favorites managed to oblige on the oche, another pointer towards just how competitive this Premier League Darts season has been in the world of arrows.
Now the world’s best players head to Liverpool — home of the Beatles — but we’re swapping the Fab Four for a Fab Five, as we attempt to go through the Thursday card.
Gerwyn Price vs. Michael van Gerwen
|Gerwyn Price||Draw||Michael van Gerwen|
The match of the night easily is Gerwyn Price versus Michael van Gerwen, as arguably the two best players in the world will go toe-to-toe. For all of Price’s good form, he has only won one of his five Premier League matches this season, while van Gerwen has lost a couple himself, despite averaging over 100 and racking up a checkout success rate of 54%.
MVG hit a perfect nine-dart leg in the UK Open over the weekend, on his way to lifting the trophy (he defeated Price, 11-9, in the final). It was disappointment for Price, who was 5-1 up and has already had tournament success in 2020.
In the last 12 months these two have gone at it nine times. The Dutchman has won six, however eight of those matches were decided by two legs or fewer.
This is going to be tight, and neither man will want to back down, after both lost last week. I’ll have to pick splinters out of my arse, because I’m happy to sit on the fence and back the draw.
Daryl Gurney vs. Glen Durrant
|Daryl Gurney||Draw||Glen Durrant|
Top of the league plays bottom in this clash, and that would imply a straightforward win for Glen Durrant. But darts can be as unpredictable as a Kardashian relationship, so it’s worth not getting too carried away. Daryl Gurney’s game improved last week. He drew, 6-6, with Rob Cross in a game he should have won, before he made it to the semifinals of the UK Open.
It’s a solid line of form, and he can certainly ruffle Duzza on Merseyside, but Durrant is throwing the darts of his life, and his combination finishing has been unreal. Last week he took out seven of his 16 shots at double, and if he’s that clinical again, he should oblige for favorite backers.
Michael Smith vs. Peter Wright
|Michael Smith||Draw||Peter Wright|
Peter Wright hit top form last week, when he posted an average of 110 — by far the highest of the Premier League. He demolished Nathan Aspinall but may have a tougher task against "Bully Boy" Michael Smith.
Off the back of hitting a nine-darter in Dublin, Smith went on to beat MVG last week, but he fell over the line and lost three of the last four legs. If he shows any sign of weakness against the reigning world champ, he’ll be punished, and it’s worth backing Wright to get the job done.
Gary Anderson vs. Nathan Aspinall
|Gary Anderson||Draw||Nathan Aspinall|
Gary Anderson posted the worst average of the night last week, as he lost to Luke Humphries, 7-5. The Flying Scotsman had six darts at a double to take a draw, but his checkouts let him down for a second week in a row. In the last two league matches, Anderson has played 24 legs and managed a checkout rate of less than 30%.
Aspinall was hammered by Wright seven days ago but has been playing consistently well, and while he may not hit as many 180s as Anderson, Aspinall can punish any sloppy finishing. This game looks destined to go to a deciding leg, and the Asp can take it to win.
Rob Cross vs. Stephen Bunting
|Rob Cross||Draw||Stephen Bunting|
This week’s hometown hero is Stephen Bunting, and he comes up against Cross on the back of a decent run in the UK Open and a semifinal appearance in the Players Championship at the end of February.
Cross may have won just one of his five league matches this year, but every one has gone to a deciding leg, and even against a loud Liverpool crowd, he can edge out Bunting. He’s beaten the Bullet in all four of their head to heads and can pinch this one, 7-5.