Tonight’s Premier League Darts in Liverpool promises a different atmosphere to a year ago.
In 2018, it was a difficult time for all of darts. Eric Bristow’s death cast a pall over that night – tributes to the Crafty Cockney a year on were heartwarming. The Premier League Darts is where it is because of trailblazers such as Bristow. The eight competitors, the lucky few who get this opportunity, will head out once again looking to put on a show at the M&S Bank Arena. Liverpool will be ready to enjoy it.
They’ll be seeing the latest chapter of a truly thrilling title race. Rob Cross was behind Michael van Gerwen, and then ahead. And then behind. Then, after spoiling the party for Jeffrey de Zwaan and Daryl Gurney in front of their home crowds, Voltage shot back to the top. He can hold that position if he continues to match van Gerwen; something nobody has ever managed since the Dutchman joined the Premier League Darts.
Cross’ next hurdle comes in the form of the world number three, Peter Wright. Snakebite is messing with his darts again – he managed four swaps during defeat to Jamie Hughes at the weekend. That, and a run of five straight games without a win in the Premier League, doesn’t stand him in good stead here. Yet if the Scot wins, he’s right in the play-off mix again. It’s a funny old game.
Michaels meet again
Since Mensur Suljovic lost to Gerwyn Price in Aberdeen on Night Five, not a single player has won more Premier League Darts matches. The Gentle’s charge has led him into third place. Meanwhile, Price has gone the opposite way. That being said, a win and a draw from his past two games means the Welshman has a bit of momentum. He really should have beaten van Gerwen. He now needs to beat Suljovic, and truly get his top four push back on track.
James Wade and Daryl Gurney meet having both suffered disappointment in Belfast. For Gurney, it was a homecoming gone wrong against Rob Cross. Wade, meanwhile, was miles below the standard he set for himself in a surprisingly narrow loss to Mensur Suljovic. But there’s no need for despair. Both are on 11 points; Wade sits in fourth, Gurney marginally below in fifth. They could not have been further apart when they last met. A 7-0 thrashing doled out to Gurney by Wade in Aberdeen is unlikely to be repeated, given the German Darts Championship winner’s recent form.
On Week One, we were treated to a repeat of the previous month’s PDC World Championship final. Michael van Gerwen met Michael Smith again, and won, again. Since that time, they’ve trodden divergent paths. Van Gerwen has not dropped below third; Smith has not risen higher than seventh. It means that Mighty Mike needs a win in Liverpool to keep up his battle for first place, and the Bully Boy needs a win in Liverpool to avoid last place. The pair tend to put on a free-flowing display, so this should be well worth a watch.
Click here for more information about the Premier League Darts, including all the fixtures and the prize fund breakdown.
Night eleven schedule
Rob Cross v Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic
James Wade v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
Author: Ed McCosh