Premier League Darts returns on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Action, featuring a clash between Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen. Wayne Mardle looks into his crystal ball…
The roadshow heads to the Metro Radio Arena, with world No 1 Van Gerwen up against Anderson in a tasty tungsten tussle up on Tyneside.
Daryl Gurney takes on Gerwyn Price in a battle of the debutants as Mensur Suljovic tackles red-hot Michael Smith while Peter Wright faces an under pressure Rob Cross. Simon Whitlock faces Raymond van Barneveld in the final match of the night.
Live Premier League Darts
February 15, 2018, 7:00pm
Wayne runs the rule over five cracking contests, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm.
Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
I’m having trouble convincing myself that Smith is actually going to lose this match because Mensur hasn’t been seen apart from the Premier League weeks. He’s neglected to play in the UK Open qualifiers and as we know he’s playing well in the Premier League without winning. Smith is playing brilliantly at these weekend events.
I just think that Michael can pull something out of the bag with this one. He’s in a rich vein of form at the moment and I like that way he’s going about his business. The pace is not going to put him off which is why I’m going for him to win this one. He’s riding the crest of the wave.
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Price has looked iffy for two weeks. He got a draw against Peter Wright and then got battered last week against Gary Anderson. I can’t see Gerwyn getting anything out of this game even though he needs to get something out of this week or next otherwise he’s going to find himself in a position where he can’t afford to lose many more.
Price will be doubting himself right now so I see a Gurney win, probably 7-3 or 7-4.
Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Rob Cross is desperate for a win in the Premier League, although he played well at the weekend which was nice to see because he had six defeats on the bounce, which as world champion we didn’t expect, did we? Cross got routed by Simon Whitlock last Thursday and he has to play better. He will play better.
I’m going to predict a 6-6 draw in this one because Peter Wright is now using the right darts for him. This is a real tough game to call. Both players play consistently and to such a high standard on regular basis. There is nothing to choose between them.
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
I cannot ever tip Van Gerwen to get beaten. The only time I ever think he’s going to get beaten is when he plays Barney. I see him beating Gary Anderson, but the Scot is back playing well. The game needs a fit and healthy Anderson playing well because he’s so good to watch. He knows it’s only a muscle tear in his back, so that’s relaxed him a little bit.
I think Michael gets the better of Gary in a last leg thriller – 7-5.
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
They’re the two form players but Barney seems to be the odds-on favourite. The results show that Whitlock is playing amazing, but I don’t think he is. I thought he has got away with it to a point, but I really want to see Simon take apart someone playing well. He’s more than capable on the big stage once again with big ton-plus averages.
I think Barney will be too good for Whitlock. He’s too strong and too consistent. If at any time Simon suffers from a blip then I think he’ll get punished and Barney will be there to take the two points. He beats him handsomely 7-3.
Wayne Mardle was speaking to Sky Sports’ Raz Mirza. The 2018 Premier League heads to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle this Thursday with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action. Thirteen weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season’s conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
Darts updates straight to your phone
How to receive all the latest darts news straight to your mobile
Keep up to date with the latest darts news, previews, reports, reaction and expert analysis. Get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts– don’t forget to use #LoveTheDarts
~ Master Yoda