Excited for another night of Premier League Darts? Same. The eight remaining players will go up against each other in Manchester on Thursday – it should be an entertaining evening of darts.
I’m expecting Michael Smith to turn on the style against Peter Wright; ‘Bully Boy’ is a great price to emerge victorious. For my top tips on Thursday’s action, have a browse below…
Peter Wright vs MICHAEL SMITH
Wright needs to win all three of his remaining fixtures to stand any chance of reaching Finals Night and even then, he will need almost every other result to go his way.
Still ranked as the second-best player in the world, it hasn’t gone his way in 2018 and Wright should focus on the upcoming ranking events.
All the pressure is on Smith here. At the time of writing, he has a three-point cushion over Van Barneveld and ‘Bully Boy’ will want to consolidate his spot in the top four.
Smith sent out a statement of intent with his 7-1 victory over Simon Whitlock last week and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the former Youth World Champion (7/4) secure back-to-back wins.
TIP: Michael Smith to win @ 7/4
Daryl Gurney vs MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
Gurney is one of those players who can get under your skin and the Northern Irishman will need to rile his opponent up on Thursday night to stand any chance of victory.
With just one defeat in his previous eight Premier League games, Gurney is in excellent form and a win for the 32-year-old will see him put more pressure on Smith in the race for the top four.
Van Gerwen is on another level though and Gurney will need the Dutchman to have an off day. The world number one is top of the table and is a good bet to claim another Premier League title.
The 8/5 on offer for Van Gerwen to win AND hit more 180s than his rival is a good one; Gurney may be left behind if the defending champion brings his A-game.
TIP: Michael Van Gerwen to win AND hit most 180s @ 8/5
GARY ANDERSON vs Simon Whitlock
Anderson is showing signs of his old self and it is hard to oppose him on current form. The ‘Flying Scotsman’ is playing some superb stuff and will fancy his chances against Whitlock in front of a rammed Manchester crowd.
The former two-time world champion has the quality to get back to the top and 9/10 for the win and most 180s should be snapped up.
Meanwhile, Whitlock is now out of contention for Finals Night. He opened the 2018 season with three successive victories but his form has tailed off in recent months – the Australian is now eighth.
It will take some effort from Whitlock to stop Anderson in his pursuit of glory in this contest; this one could get ugly early on if the ‘Flying Scotsman’ is in the mood.
TIP: Gary Anderson to win AND hit most 180s @ 9/10
Raymond van Barneveld vs ROB CROSS
Van Barneveld has found a new lease of life in recent weeks and plenty of neutrals will be hoping that the Dutchman can sneak into the top four.
Barney featuring on Finals Night would be the stuff of dreams and he is always well supported wherever he travels. Cross is the defending world champion but Van Barneveld will have the backing of the crowd on Thursday night.
Despite Barney’s recent form, it would be foolish to look past Cross here. On his day, he is capable of matching Van Gerwen – and he is starting to hit top form.
Cross is a good price at 4/5 to emerge victorious and punters will be lining up to back the Englishman. This could be the most exciting game of the night if both players live up to the hype.
TIP: Rob Cross to win @ 4/5
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*