Michael van Gerwen Goes Clear At The Top After Victory Over Michael Smith In The Darts Premier League

Michael van Gerwen Goes Clear At The Top After Victory Over Michael Smith In The Darts Premier League

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen moved two points clear at the top of the Premier League in Glasgow, following his 7-2 victory over Michael Smith.

On his way to victory, Mighty Mike reeled off seven straight legs to take break throw in the first and take the lead. MVG was relentless after that, winning the following two legs in 14 and 13 darts before a 148 finish gave him a third. The world number one followed this up with a maximum in leg six and another 12-darter, before a 116-finish put the Dutchman just about out of reach. Almost banking a nine-dart finish in the next leg, van Gerwen rounded things off with a 107 finish for the match. In the loss, Smith remains in second, albeit on leg difference.

More action from last week

Birthday boy Daryl Gurney opened the night’s action and finally recorded his first Premier League victory, getting the better of Mensur Suljovic. Before Thursday, Superchin had drawn four from six, but in Scotland found the form he has been looking for. Hitting five maximums on his way to securing a 7-3 result, Gurney saw off the Big Gentle, who has now suffered two defeats in as many weeks.

Elsewhere, Gary Anderson pleased the Scottish support by beating Simon Whitlock 7-4, putting an end to a run of three successive draws. The first two legs went with throw before The Flying Scotsman took control of the game with a 101 finish. The next two legs also went to Anderson, before Whitlock rallied to cut his opponent’s lead in half. Anderson soon moved 5-2 up after The Wizard missed a shot at the bull, before the pair each banked a 13-dart leg. Whitlock held the 10th leg, but it was academic at this point as Anderson secured the win by taking out 74 to maintain his average of 102.68.

Amazingly, Peter Wright suffered his third straight 7-1 reverse, this time to Raymond van Barneveld, leaving him flirting dangerously with the cut. Priced at Betway as 6/4 to miss the cut, Snakebite — who made a European Final in Leverkusen over the weekend — missed four darts in the opening leg and managed to take the third, after which it was all Barney.

We closed the night with the same score line, this time recorded by Rob Cross who brilliantly swept aside Gerwyn Price 7-1. Voltage, who was 9/2 to win his inaugural Premier League title, averaged 103.54 and scored four 180s. Price took the first leg after Cross had missed a bull shot but one leg later the world champion drew level, taking out 143 for a 12-dart leg and with it the lead. He followed this up with a 11-dart leg and then three straight 14-dart legs before a final 66 to put an end to things. Cross now moves level on points with second-placed Michael Smith in the standings.

2018 Premier League Darts table

Here is a look at the 2018 Premier League Darts standings through eight matches.

2018 Premier League Darts Table

The bottom two positions in the standings after Judgement Night in Liverpool on April 5 will miss the cut and be removed out of the competition.

Darts Premier League betting tips

The SSE Arena in Belfast will play host to Matchday nine of the Darts Premier League. As always, the live coverage can be enjoyed on Sky Sports Action & Main Event HD from 19:00 GMT.

Austria’s Mensur Suljovic is the first player out of the blocks this week for a match against Gary Anderson, who showed glimpses of his best form last week while back in Glasgow. Following back-to-back defeats in the Premier League and only one week to go before Judgement Night, the pressure is on Suljovic, who is being kept out of the relegation zone by leg difference only. I think this one should go quite easily to the Scot.

Next up, Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price meet at the oche in another, quite possibly, one-sided fixture. Price has lost the last six tournament matches he’s played, whereas Smith –- save for last week’s brutal beating to MVG -– is having the tournament of his life. I can’t see his form deserting him this week against a bottom placed Gerwyn who must feel as good as gone now. The potential difficulties for the Welshman are reflected in the following punt; Smith to win, hit 5 or more 180s and a 120+ checkout is priced at 10/1 with Betway.

We go double Dutch for match three as Raymond van Barneveld takes on Michael van Gerwen in a game that Michael will expect to win. It should be closer than some of Michael’s other challenges, as Barney seems to thrive in difficult matches — these two have a habit of bringing the best out of each other. That said, should Mighty Mike find his best form, it’s probably worth taking advantage of Betway’s 5/2 offered on MVG to win and hit 5 or more 180s.

The next match is followed by a much tougher game to call, Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross. Daryl finally registered his first Premier League win last week, which was nicely timed as the action moves to his hometown Belfast this week. His rival, Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross is on a run of five straight wins and is playing at his best level since the World Championship back in the deep mid-winter. How well he does here will depend on how he deals with the hostile atmosphere. It’s a toughie, but I’m calling a tie.

After three straight 7-1 defeats in the Premier League, Peter Wright drastically improved at the weekend by reaching the European Darts Open Final and will hope to take that version of himself into this week’s battle against Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock. An early front runner, Whitlock has suffered a run of three defeats, which has seen the Aussie lose momentum and drop down the table. This one could go two ways: Either the original Snakebite turns up, buoyed by weekend form, in which case he should win; Or the other, a much worse version of himself could make a return, which is still very possible. For this reason, I expect the Wizard to take the points. I like the look of Whitlock to win OR draw, hit the most 180s and Wright to average under 100.

On that note, Anderson, Smith, MVG, X, and Whitlock all combine to make 53/1 on the Betway sportsbook. Don’t fancy that? Try the boosted treble; van Gerwen, Cross and Wright to win now 4/1 at Betway!

  • Mensur Suljovic v Gary Anderson
  • Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
  • Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
  • Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright
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Another Fright Night For Wright As Bully Boy Dishes Out A Beating

Another Fright Night For Wright As Bully Boy Dishes Out A Beating

Peter Wright pays ytribute to Jim Bowen

Not even the colourful tribute to the late, great Jim Bowen who died last Wednesday could stop Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright from suffering yet another nightmare at the oche, this time in Nottingham. In honour of the great man, Wright sported an image of the 1980’s TV show Bullseye’s mascot “Bully,” but it was another Bully, Michael Smith, who shot him down by seven legs to one. Only one week earlier, Wright lost to Mensur Suljovic by the same score line. On Sunday, Wright was beaten 6-1 by Brendan Dolan in the Players Championship, making for very poor form for the world number two.

Smith was on the rebound of his own defeat a week ago, albeit his only loss in the league so far, which was at the hands of world champion Rob Cross. This time, Smith averaged 95 and landed seven of his 13 double attempts to give Wright’s his second successive thumping in as many weeks.

In match two, Daryl Gurney and Simon Whitlock each took home a share of the points following a 6-6 draw. Gurney is still without a victory in his first ever Premier League campaign and needed to survive four match darts from The Wizard in the deciding leg in order to save the tie. Earlier, Superchin had come from a leg down to lead 3-1 before Whitlock moved back ahead after winning the seventh leg courtesy of a 133 checkout. However, four misses in the final leg allowed Gurney back in and he duly took advantage of Whitlock’s generosity by landing a double eight to split the points.

This match was followed by Rob Cross and Mensur Suljovic with Voltage proving too powerful for The Big Gentle. His superiority was apparent in the 7-2 victory that brought his winning streak to four on the spin and moves him up to third in the table. Cross also posted his highest Premier League average so far — 106.49 — while hitting three 180s and delivering seven from nine darts at the doubles. Suljovic, who destroyed Snakebite 7-1 in Leeds, managed four darts at a double himself. But it was not enough to take home any points this week.

Michael van Gerwen keeps his place at the top of the Premier League Darts table following his 7-3 win over Gerwyn Price who remains winless. MVG required that exact score line to stay above Smith in the table following his earlier mauling of Wright, achieving it with the help of the rather tidy average of 104.8 along with a checkout percentage of 58.33%. The match was evenly split after four legs, but a 152-checkout put Mighty Mike ahead before finishes of 95, 71 and 117, plus an 11-darter, settled the tie.

The night’s final match saw Gary Anderson come from behind to earn his third league draw of the season, this time against Raymond van Barneveld. It was yet another match in which The Flying Scotsman was required to dig deep and come from behind to claim his points having previously produced comebacks against Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney. This time Barney led by six legs to four, but in shooting for the win, missed five match darts that gifted Anderson a lifeline. It was a lifeline the Scotsman gratefully accepted by taking out a 144 checkout and saving a point.

Premier League Darts betting tips

Matchday Eight will take place today, the 22nd, at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow with televised coverage available on Sky Sports Action HD and Sky Sports Main Event HD from 19.00 GMT.

Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic kick things off this week with little to split the pair. Both players sit just above the drop zone on four points meaning we only have recent form to go on. What this means that, assuming the match doesn’t head for a tie, Mensur will have the slight upper hand.

His form of late has been good, and out of these two, should feel unlucky not to have more points on the board right now. Daryl is also playing well but is dropping far too many doubles making the Big Gentle the easier bet.

Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith are next out in a battle of the top two. Smith has been massively impressive in his league campaign so far and is certainly capable of causing a shock here, making this one of those rare weeks where MVG isn’t a guaranteed win. That said, I can’t see Bully Boy beating the Dutchman when all is said and done. As good a campaign as Smith is having, Mighty Mike is simply a class apart from the rest. Given this tie presents him with the opportunity to go clear at the top, he has an added incentive to win, making him even harder to stop than normal. As always, backing MVG is pointless, but we like van Gerwen to win by over 2.5 legs, hit a 100+ checkout and average over 100 which pays 5/2.

Match three sees Gary Anderson take on Simon Whitlock with The Flying Scotsman trailing back in sixth place with only five points collected so far, which is hardly fitting for a two-time world champion and current world number three. His tally sees him two points behind the fourth-spot, which is currently occupied by this week’s opponent The Wizard. The only way these two can switch places is for Anderson to record a win so big that he goes above his rival on leg difference. While I don’t think that will happen I do expect the Scotsman to win, albeit by a much closer margin.

If Gary Anderson can feel worried about his position, that’s nothing compared to the spectacular break down in form suffered by his countryman Peter Wright, who after being beaten 7-1 twice in a row sits in the relegation zone, one spot off the bottom. Hardly fitting for the world number two. Tonight’s opponent Raymond van Barneveld is ahead in the table and in a much better position mentally. Barney is seeing how far his game can take him this year, coming across pretty relaxed and enjoying his darts overall, unlike Snakebite whose head seems to be getting the better of him. For this reason alone, I’m backing Barney this week. Why not try van Barneveld to win, hit the most 180s and average under 100, worth 9/2 at Betway?

We end the night with Rob Cross versus Gerwyn Price in a match that really should be going Cross’ way. His form is better and so is his mentality right now. Price sits at the very bottom of the table with Betway laying as short as 1/8 for him to miss the cut. While it’s true that he deserves more than the two points he has, it also says something about his game right now that he hasn’t collected more. I can’t really see any other result than Rob winning this one. At Betway, Cross to win, hit the most 180s and Price to average under 95 pays at 3/1.

This week’s boosted treble from Betway sees one line on van Gerwen, van Barneveld and Cross, up from 3/1 to 4/1. Or, our line (Suljovic, MVG, Anderson, RVB and Cross) adds up to 13/1 at Betway.

  • (6/4) Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic (5/4)
  • (3/10) Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith (6/1)
  • (4/9) Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock (5/1)
  • (6/4) Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld (5/4)
  • (4/11) Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price (11/2)
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Michael van Gerwen Goes Top Of The Darts Premier League Following Win In Leeds

Michael van Gerwen Goes Top Of The Darts Premier League Following Win In Leeds

MVG Darts Premier League

Michael van Gerwen
now sits atop the Darts Premier League following a 7-4 win over Simon Whitlock in a week where Rob Cross, Barney & Mensur Suljovic also won in Leeds. Elsewhere, we saw a draw for Gary Anderson but woe for Peter Wright — he suffered a near whitewash to The Big Gentle.

MVG was out of form, missing 16 doubles and averaging only marginally higher than 100. But like the champion he is, won his match even if he required Whitlock to let him off the hook. In fact, The Wizard had been the better of the two for much of the contest, edging 2-0 ahead before the reigning Premier League champion came from behind to win after the Aussie missed two darts to break at 4-4.

In total, a kamikaze Whitlock missed seven double shots before misfiring one final shot at double 20 which prevent the game into a deserved final leg. This allowed Mighty Mike to bank the points to sit comfortably — and ominously — at the top of the table.

Other action from last week

Another Dutchman, the evergreen Raymond van Barneveld was forced to come from behind in his match, this time against Gerwyn Price. Ending 7-5, RVB led early in the match, but a Price recovery soon saw Barney drop two sets back at 5-3. Barney then dug out a 121 finish on double 14 in the very next leg and was soon level thanks to an 80 finish. The former world number one then took out 101 on double top before throwing 89 for the match including a strike on bull.

Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright comfortably checked out for 132 to take the opening leg of his game against Mensur ‘The Big Gentle’ Suljovic before a dramatic collapse saw the Scotsman lose all the remaining legs leading to a humiliating and catastrophic defeat.
The Austrian averaged 103.0 and missed just five darts at double to produce the performance of the night, rallying off seven legs in succession to utterly destroy Wright 7-1, who now sits just one place out of the drop zone.

Although a much closer tie, Gary Anderson narrowly avoided a similar fate in his match against Daryl Gurney. Superchin looked to be sailing towards an upset when he rattled off four legs in succession. From somewhere, Anderson produced a 12-dart leg before losing focus again and allowing Gurney to restore his two-leg lead and guarantee at least a share of the points. A share was all he got in the end as Gurney missed two darts on the final leg that left the door ajar for Anderson to nick a sneaky double 17 and steal a 6-6 draw.

There were no such troubles for World champion Rob Cross, however; he beat Michael Smith 7-5 and now moves into the league’s top four. Victory for Voltage was achieved despite trailing 4-2 and 5-3. The Hastings-born newbie scored four legs in a row in a match where maximums were regularly exchanged — Cross landing five and Smith four. In the end, it was a 121 finish which turned the game Cross’ way.

Darts Premier League betting tips

Matchday Seven takes place this Thursday at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham with coverage available on Sky Sports Action HD and Sky Sports Main Event HD from 1900 GMT.

Fresh off the back of his latest nightmare, Peter Wright meets Michael Smith in this week’s opener. Snakebite suffered an annihilation at the hands or Mensur Suljovic a week ago but can at least draw some comfort from reaching a final on Saturday, even though he lost 6-0 to Gary Anderson. One thing that makes Peter an interesting bet — or a frustrating one — is that he can be very hard to read. Performing brilliantly one minute and horribly the next, his game flip flops more than most. This the main reason that despite a run of horrible results, I’m still going to pick him to win against Bully Boy here. Smith also lost a week back in a match to Rob Cross but had been going strong until then. Will that defeat mean a collapse as he hits a crucial run of fixtures? Possibly, yes, which makes Betway’s line on Wright to win and hit 5 or more 180s a decent price at 7/1.

Another player who was going well until recently was Simon Whitlock, who really should have beaten Michael van Gerwen in his last match. Couple this performance with a run of defeats suggests that he might be better off avoided in this week’s acca, especially as his opponent — Daryl Gurney — has by-far the better one-on-one record of the two. Gurney will feel like he dropped points last week against Gary Anderson, getting a draw when he really should have won. Normally, his record reads that a draw is followed by a loss, but I think things might be different this time around as The Wizard and Superchin begin moving in the other direction position wise. Gurney win.

Next out is Mensur Suljovic and Rob Cross, with the latter having won three on the bounce and the former now on a run of two wins himself. As already noted, Mensur thrashed Peter Wright 7-1 last week and he’s 12/5 to win this match too. He’s playing brilliantly right now and is at last getting the wins he deserves while also posting some great averages. Voltage though is also moving in the right direction, and while this is the toughest game of the night to call, I’m backing Cross to make it four wins in four. Try Cross to win and hit the most 180s with Suljovic to throw the highest average, worth 7/2 at Betway.

Match four of the night pairs Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen, with Price having been unable to score a victory against the world number one in any of their last twelve encounters. MVG has nicely positioned himself on top of the pile now and will now be looking to solidify the top spot. This is a nice match for him to do just that. Try Mighty Mike to win and hit 5 or more 180s at 5/2 for more value.

Finally, Raymond van Barneveld will take on Gary Anderson. RVB is one point ahead in the table right now following Anderson’s late and really rather fortunate point last week. I think The Flying Scotsman will come good again this Thursday. Barney has been inconsistent of late, coming from behind to win more than once, but a slow start in this one could leave him with too much to do. For both value and fun, look out for Raymond van Barneveld to win OR draw, Gary Anderson to hit the most 180s and BOTH players to hit a 100+ checkout, worth 12/1 at Betway.
Also, a five-fold on our picks (Wright, Gurney, Cross, MVG and Anderson) works out at just over 12/1, while players are encouraged to try Betway’s boosted treble of Anderson, Gurney and Wright all to win now 6/1.

  • (11/5) Michael Smith v Peter Wright (10/11)
  • (2/1) Simon Whitlock v Daryl Gurney (1/1)
  • (12/5) Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross (5/6)
  • (12/1) Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen (1/7)
  • (15/4) Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson (8/15)

Oh, and RIP Jim Bowen, host of the greatest TV game show of all time, Bullseye.

Bullseye with Jim Bowen passes away

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