The Premier League Darts tournament rolls into Nottingham on Thursday night for week six of the competition. With just three more rounds of matches after this one until the elimination takes place it could be a nervous night for some.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall is the contender for the evening and he may well give Michael Smith a challenge. The other four matches on the night all look pretty significant for one reason or another.
Nathan Aspinall vs Michael Smith
It is a big night for Michael Smith in Nottingham as he is kind of in no man’s land in the table. He isn’t close enough to the top four for comfort and he is dangerously close to the drop zone so the last thing he needed was a clash with Nathan Aspinall who is full of confidence and has nothing to lose.
Smith beat Aspinall in the World Championship semi-final so he should be able to draw on that confidence to pick up a win but the youngster is a different beast having won the UK Open. I think experience in this environment might just edge Smith over the line but the odds are pretty restrictive on him so I’ll sit this one out.
James Wade vs Mensur Suljovic
The second match of the night sees the table topper James Wade going up against a Mensur Suljovic who is only a couple of successive wins from being right in the mix himself so this should be a cracking contest.
Wade arrives in this match off the back of a stellar performance last week where he averaged a shade under 110 and if he is in anything like that form he is going to win this. Suljovic hasn’t averaged a ton since the second week of the tournament and with Wade only once averaging less than 99 the Austrian will need his best stuff here.
Suljovic just never looks comfortable in this surrounding to me. He didn’t last year and I’ve seen nothing to suggest he is enjoying it any more this time around. Wade is loving life on the oche and has the win in him here.
Rob Cross vs Raymond Barneveld
Two men at different ends of the table and different parts of their career meet in the third contest of the evening when the title chasing Rob Cross goes up against a Raymond Barneveld who is fading fast in front of our very own eyes and it is sad to see.
Everything we have seen in this tournament so far suggests that Cross will win this match but at quotes of 1/2 we are clearly not the only ones who have noticed that. You would think Cross would win easily enough to cover a handicap but there isn’t a lot of margin there either so I’ll sit this one out.
Gerwyn Price vs Michael van Gerwen
The match of the night is the penultimate contest of the evening as the form man Gerwyn Price meets a stuttering Michael van Gerwen in a battle between two men who are locked on seven points heading into the evening.
Price is probably playing the darts of his life at the minute and one thing is for sure he will lay it down to the Dutchman here but this could just be the sort of contest that brings MVG out of his slump. I say slump, he averaged 104 last week but couldn’t get the job done against John Henderson. I think MVG will have too much for Price here but there isn’t the gap between the two that there once was which means we can’t justify backing him at 8/15.
Peter Wright vs Daryl Gurney
The final match of the evening sees two men who will be looking to get back in the business end of things going at it when Peter Wright, a point off the leaders and stalking them nicely, takes on Daryl Gurney who was whitewashed last week.
Gurney has only won one leg in the last two weeks and hasn’t averaged 95 in that time so while his opponents have played well he clearly hasn’t. Wright produced his best performance of the season last week and if he can push that here he will win but consistency hasn’t been his strong point thus far. I’ll hope Wright will win as our outright bet would be a massive runner if he does but at 21/20 I can let him do so without a punt.
Back J.Wade to beat M.Suljovic for a 4/10 stake at 2.05 with Boylesports
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