The Premier League Darts competition leaves Scotland and heads to Sheffield this week for what is the third to last night of action in the first phase of the tournament and a big evening of darts for those chasing the top four.
It has already been confirmed that James Wade will miss Thursday night due to the illness he picked up in Germany at the weekend which will give the chasing pack the chance to close in on him. It leaves us with three quarter finals to preview with Joe Cullen the beneficiary of a bye.
Gary Anderson vs Gerwyn Price
The latest version of the grudge match of darts gets the evening underway when Gary Anderson takes on Gerwyn Price. Both men begin the night outside the top four and so the lower of this one could see their fate sealed for the season.
Anderson really needs to win the last three nights of the regular phase to have any chance of being in the finals in Berlin. That isn’t likely to happen so this is a bigger match for Price, although the last thing he’ll need is Anderson in his mind being out of the competition and relaxing and throwing his best darts. Price hasn’t had the campaign he would have wanted and needs to win two of the remaining three nights to have any chance of qualifying himself. I’d probably favour Price to win this but at the prices I’m not interested in backing him.
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Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
The second of the three quarter finals on the night might be the biggest of the lot for the chasing pack as fourth placed Peter Wright is in action. He takes on Michael van Gerwen who needs just one more match win to secure his place in the finals.
Wright can all but end the hopes of the chasing pack if he goes on and wins the night overall here but he has a stiff opponent in van Gerwen who has won the last two European Tour events without really having to hit top gear. He has been a little less consistent in the Premier League but Wright hasn’t got going in this competition at all in terms of consistency. I would imagine we’ll see the best of Wright here because he knows he is going to have to produce it if he is to get a result but there just isn’t a guarantee of it. Wright has now won just one of his last 10 matches and I expect him to come up short here but at the odds I can leave this one alone as well.
Michael Smith vs Jonny Clayton
The last of the quarter finals sees the man who has cleaned up in the Players Championship events this week in Michael Smith taking on the league leader Jonny Clayton who knows that whatever happens from here on in he will be in Berlin for finals night.
It will be interesting to see if Clayton eases up a little in this match now that he has qualified, even if it is done subconsciously, and if he does then we know Smith is playing well enough to take advantage of that. Smith didn’t just win the two Players Championship events this week, he won seven of his 14 matches with a 100+ average including averages as high as 107.10, 104.08, 114.90 and 109.95 along the way on Wednesday. Even if Clayton doesn’t ease off, with Smith having the throw here if he is anywhere close to that form the Welshman is going to have his work cut out. It would be natural for Clayton to struggle to get up for this one with the job already done though and so I’ll take Smith as a result.
Back M.Smith to beat J.Clayton for a 3/10 stake at 2.30 with BetVictor
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