It is the final night of the regular season in the Premier League Darts tournament on Thursday with Aberdeen the venue for what may be a pivotal night in the competition, although in all likelihood the four men heading to the o2 next week are already known.
There is an outside chance that Gary Anderson could be overtaken in the race for fourth spot but the Scot would need to lose heavily and Daryl Gurney win heavily. I don’t see that happening but you never know in sport.
Michael Smith vs Raymond Barneveld
The opening match of the night sees one man who will be heading to the o2 next Thursday taking on one who officially won’t be when Michael Smith faces Raymond Barneveld to close out their regular campaigns.
Smith has been fantastic this season and will be looking to head to London with another win under his belt. Barneveld put up a much stronger effort last week than I expected and if his mindset is correct here he’s more than good enough to win this. If this had a competitive edge to it I would have expected it to be close but it doesn’t so it may not be. I’ll avoid this one.
Simon Whitlock vs Rob Cross
The second match of the evening is in the same position as the first one. Rob Cross will be debuting at the o2 next week but before he gets there he has to face Simon Whitlock for whom this will be his final outing of the season.
Whitlock has been inconsistent at best over the last few weeks of the competition and while Rob Cross hasn’t blitzed it at any point he has been solid and sometimes in the league phase of this event solid is all you need. With no competitive edge on this one nothing will surprise me here so I’m happy to sit this out too.
Peter Wright vs Daryl Gurney
Last year’s runner up Peter Wright plays his final match of the season in front of his own fans on Thursday night when he takes on a Daryl Gurney who mathematically can still qualify for the knockout stages.
Gurney would need to win this match at least 7-0 or 7-1 to have any chance of going through and even then that might not be enough. Wright can play with a little more freedom as he bids to end a disappointing campaign with a victory.
The bet I like here is for Gurney to hit the most 180s. He’s one of the leading 180 hitters in the tournament which will come as no surprise to anyone given that he is one of the most prolific in that regard in the entire game. Wright can usually plough them in but he has only hit six 180s in the last six weeks in this and three weeks he hasn’t registered a single one. Gurney should have him covered in the 180s.
Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson
The final match of the regular season sees two of the best going at it in what could be a dress rehearsal of a semi-final next week when Michael van Gerwen heads into Scotland to take on the home hero Gary Anderson.
Depending on what happens earlier in the evening, Anderson might need a couple of legs to make it through to next week but it would take something crazy for him to not be there. Van Gerwen already has top spot sewn up and would be playing for a psychological edge but he has enough of that already. I can’t get involved in this one.
Back D.Gurney Most 180s vs P.Wright for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Betfair
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