The final week of the Premier League Darts season begins on Monday night, an evening which for the first time in 2021 will see fans in to watch the action unfold, which should bring a totally different dynamic to the remainder of the competition.
There are four more nights of league action left before the finals on Friday so the points are very much at a premium for the eight remaining players on Monday, which should bring us plenty of quality darts and tense matches.
Jonny Clayton vs Gary Anderson
The opening match of the night sees the two players immediately below the semi-final line meeting in a match that could define the rest of their season when Jonny Clayton takes on Gary Anderson in a game neither can really afford to lose.
Clayton went into the season on fire and started that way in the Premier League too before a little wobble around the middle part of it. He came out of that slump though and has won three of his last four outings and another win here should fire him back in the top four at the end of the evening. The break probably came at a bad time for Anderson who had won his last two matches with ton plus averages in both. You’ve got to think if the league had finished in the last block he would have powered into the top four. I’m not so sure he will win here though. He readily admits that he doesn’t practice much and on both first evenings of the blocks of matches so far he has been very ordinary before improving as the week goes on. I can see that trend continuing here so I like Clayton to come out on top in this one.
Jose de Sousa vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
The two men immediately on the right side of the semi-final line meet in the second game of the night when Jose de Sousa takes on Dimitri Van den Bergh in a clash in which the winner is likely to be a very strong contender to make the finals on Friday.
These two men have been very impressive over the last 12 months or so, but there has been a suspicion that their form has been at the level it has because there has been no crowd to put them off and it will be interesting to see how both fare now there are patrons in. Van den Bergh in particular can be more than a little deliberate and crowds usually jump on that, although the 1,000 in attendance in the Marshall Arena might just be pleased to be back and go easy on him. De Sousa isn’t the most fluent either when it comes to his action so rather than bet and see who the crowd takes to I think I’ll sit this one out, particularly when there is unlikely to be much between them without a crowd influence.
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Nathan Aspinall vs Michael van Gerwen
The pick of the matches on the first evening of the final week is the third one to go onto the stage as the top two in the table meet when second placed Nathan Aspinall goes up against the man who sits on top of the pile in Michael van Gerwen.
A win for van Gerwen here would app but secure his place in the finals on Friday but were he to lose 8-4 or worse he would drop off top spot, so finely balanced is this table at the minute. Aspinall has been very competitive in pretty much all of his matches this season so I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off backing him but as I mentioned in the last segment of matches in the league, we are at a position at the minute where when I back MVG he’s terrible and when I oppose him he’s awesome. I’ll therefore sit this one out and assess the form of both for the remainder of the week.
James Wade vs Peter Wright
The final match of the night sees the bottom two colliding in a match that neither can afford to lose as James Wade takes on the only player below him in the table in Peter Wright in what isn’t completely a knockout match but effectively will be the death toll for whoever does lose it.
Wright hasn’t really got going in the competition this season. He has been switching darts and has had to deal with an illness earlier in the campaign and a shoulder problem when we saw him most recently. If that isn’t enough his wife has had surgery recently and when you think four wins only gets him to 17 points which probably won’t be enough for the top four, you wonder just how much the Scot will want to be here. Wade is in a better position although a terrible end to the previous week of action has left him needing to find at least three wins this week. He beat Wright in the reverse meeting between these two and given that Wright didn’t look in any form at all in that last week that we saw him, I think Wade without the draw has to be the bet here.
WON – Back J.Clayton to beat G.Anderson for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Coral
Back J.Wade to beat P.Wright (DNB) for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Boylesports
Back him here: