It has been the longest season in Premier League Darts history but it all ends inside the different behind closed doors setting of the Ricoh Arena on Thursday evening when the final four compete for what is now one of the biggest titles in the game.
Such has been the different times we have lived in the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price didn’t come through the crowdless league phase and as such we have the likelihood of a new champion with only one of the semi-finalists having won the event before. The semi-finals and final take place on the same evening. Time restrictions will stop us previewing the final but we’ll take a look at both semi-finals here.
Glen Durrant vs Gary Anderson
The opening semi-final of the night sees the table topper Glen Durrant taking on the former champion Gary Anderson in what looks to be a very interesting match to get the evening underway. In the league phase of this tournament Durrant won their first meeting and the second one was a draw.
Anderson will still be wondering how he didn’t win that second contest as we was well ahead and just couldn’t finish the job off but I think it is that match which is more of a guide to what we might see here. I don’t want to say a three-time world champion like Durrant is unable to perform in big matches but in less than two years on the PDC scene ‘Duzza’ has been in four televised semi-finals and he’s lost the lot. Since he was confirmed top of the table in this tournament his form has dramatically lowered too and I’m not convinced he will get it back for this match.
You sense Anderson is still searching for that extreme top gear that turns him from an extremely good player into the special one that he was when winning this title in the past and the world titles he won but I like the way his form is at the minute. I don’t think he did a lot wrong in losing to Dirk van Duijvenbode last week, he just ran into a brilliant performance but Anderson lives for the big matches in the big tournaments and I’d be amazed if he isn’t at his best here. Assuming Anderson doesn’t have a mare on the doubles again I think he can end the dream run of Durrant.
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Peter Wright vs Nathan Aspinall
The second semi-final looks like being another pearler as Peter Wright looks to move to within one win of adding the Premier League title to the world crown he currently possesses when he takes on Nathan Aspinall who is seeking his second major title come the end of the night. Wright won both their regular season meetings.
Both these men lost in the first round of the World Grand Prix last week and as a result there could be a little lack of confidence in both although I would imagine both will accept that in that format anything can happen and I wouldn’t be surprised if the pair had this night on their minds anyway. I’m expecting a pretty close match here I have to say. I think the pressure is on Wright to win it which means Aspinall can throw plenty at him and I wouldn’t be surprised if a missed double here or there or a piece of brilliance is what decides this one.
Rather than guess who might produce that I’m going to look at the 180s where the odds against on over 10.5 180s looks good to me. One of the trends of this behind closed doors action has been the insane number of 180s that have come along. I’m not surprised by that because this is just a glorified practice setup for these boys and I expect the 180s to flow here. In their two regular season matches there were seven in 10 legs and 10 in 13 legs. That ratio suggests we would need around 15 legs in this semi-final to get the required 11 180s and that’s the least I expect to see. I’m happy to get on the over here.
Back G.Anderson to beat G.Durrant for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betfair
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Back P.Wright vs N.Aspinall – Over 10.5 180s for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with BetVictor
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