Michael van Gerwen Tops Darts Premier League, Next Stop London
After 16 weeks, we now know our four qualifiers for the Darts Premier League 2019 playoffs at London’s O2 Arena. Michael van Gerwen once again topped the table for the seventh time in a row. This year he was made to work for it and victory only came because Rob Cross was unable to beat James Wade and secure the top spot for himself, leading Cross and Wade to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. They were joined in the last four by Daryl Gurney after claiming a 8-3 victory over Michael Smith.
Now, Gurney must beat MVG in the first semi-final to meet the winner of Rob Cross and James Wade in the final on Thursday night. To be fair, Gurney has beat Mighty Mike twice in the league this season and Wade overcame Cross as recently as seven days ago, so the matches are still up in the air.
A recap of Night 16
MVG, who has never finished lower than first place since making his debut in 2013, banked his win earlier in the night putting the pressure on Voltage as he went in the night’s final match at Leeds. The Dutchman is bidding to win the trophy for the fifth time in his career and the fourth year in a row , quickly went into a 5-0 lead against Mensur Suljovic who needed to win by a margin of 8-3 or more to qualify for the play-offs on leg difference. Despite his challenge faltering, The Gentle dug deep to take five of the next seven legs. The world number one wasn’t to be caught, however, and was soon throwing for the match and an 8-5 victory.
Top spot was secured for Mighty Mike after Rob Cross fell just one match short of becoming only the third player to top the Premier League Darts table after he succumbed to an 8-6 defeat to James Wade. An out-of-sorts Voltage hit three 180s and managed the match-high checkout of 126, but he only averaged 92.39 and wasted 14 of his 20 double attempts. Both players were guaranteed to progress on the night, with only Cross having something to play for. This meant that Wade was the more relaxed of the two but still only managed a 94.4 average himself. The first eight legs went with throw before The Machine, who won this event in 2009, was the first to break throw while up 6-4. Voltage managed to claw back to 7-6 but couldn’t save the game as Wade took the last. Both players meet each other again this week in the second semi-final.
One player who couldn’t afford to be relaxed was Daryl Gurney, who went into his game against Michael Smith knowing he needed a win after Gerwyn Price leapfrogged him earlier in the night after beating Peter Wright. Superchin responded to the challenge superbly, putting in an excellent performance to overcome last year’s runner-up, Bully Boy. Gurney averaged 101.8 and threw five 180s, two more than Bully Boy as he ran out the 8-3 winner. Permutations meant that Gurney could still mathematically be eliminated if results elsewhere went against him, but it wasn’t to be as his victory proved enough.
The night opened with Gerwyn Price booking an 8-3 victory over Peter Wright, but the win proved to be in vain as the other matches didn’t go his way, replaced in the top four by Daryl Gurney. The win meant that The Iceman jumped Gurney and Suljovic in the table, but a win for either would mean elimination for the Welshman and so it proved. Price averaged 98.58 and hit five 180s against Snakebite who averaged 95.61 in an end to a torrid season.
2019 Premier League Darts Table
|2019 Premier League Darts Table|
|1||Michael van Gerwen||23|
|9||Raymond van Barneveld||4|
Darts Premier League London Playoffs Betting Tips
While Michael van Gerwyn is the 1/5 favourite to beat Daryl Gurney, it’s worth remembering that Superchin has beaten the Dutchman twice in this current league season, making Betway’s 7/2 reasonably tempting. However, the Northern Irishman is making his finals night debut whereas MVG is a regular , and his experience, coupled with the superior overall head-to-head record, should see the Dutchman reach his seventh consecutive Premier League final.
Rob Cross and James Wade will face each other for the second time in as many weeks in the night’s other semi-final. This match could go either way, especially given their 6-6 head-to-head record. But Wade may have the advantage after defeating The Machine last week. That match wasn’t played under normal conditions, however, as both players knew that their place in the finals was secured before the first dart was thrown.
Voltage, who did at least have the motivation of top spot to shoot for, played particularly poorly in Leeds but in truth, The Machine wasn’t much better. Wade does have the big occasion experience of winning this event in 2009 but so too does Cross, who won the World Championships far more recently in 2018. Although this is a tough one, Betway have made Cross the 4/6 favourite and Wade 6/5 for a reason.
On that note, Betway have a boosted bet offer of 9/4 – out from 7/4 – for van Gerwyn and Cross to win their semi-finals and meet in the final where Mighty Mike wins. MVG is the 1/2 odds-on favourite to win a fourth title in a row, which is quite a jump from Rob Cross’ 4/1, especially given Voltage’s performance in the league this season. There are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on James Wade, and Betway’s 15/2 is attractive enough for a punt, as is the 10/1 offered on Daryl Gurney to be the overall winner.
Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
- (1/5) Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney (7/2)
- (4/6) Rob Cross v James Wade (6/5)
Finals (Best of 21 legs)
- Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2
QUICK GLANCE AT THE DARTS PREMIER LEAGUE – WEEK 17: The Playoffs
Venue: The O2 arena, London
World Cup of Darts 2019 schedule
The draw, schedule and team line-ups for the World Cup of Darts were announced this week. The event will take place at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany from June 6-9 with 32 nations contesting the trophy.
England’s Rob Cross and Michael Smith will be there, as will Scotland duo Peter Wright and Gary Anderson. Sadly, there will be no Raymond van Barneveld in the Dutch line-up. Instead Jermaine Wattimena will team up with Michael van Gerwen.
World Cup of Darts: Team line-ups
(1) England – Rob Cross & Michael Smith
(2) Scotland – Gary Anderson & Peter Wright
(3) Wales – Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton
(4) Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Jermaine Wattimena
(5) Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
(6) Northern Ireland – Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
(7) Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh
(8) Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Zoran Lerchbacher
Brazil – Diogo Portela & Artur Valle
Canada – Dawson Murschell & Jim Long
China – Xiaochen Zong & Qingyu Zhan
Czech Republic – Pavel Jirkal & Karel Sedlacek
Denmark – Per Laursen & Niels Heinsøe
Finland – Marko Kantele & Kim Viljanen
Germany – Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Antony Lopez
Greece – John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis
Hong Kong – Royden Lam & Kai Fan Leung
Hungary – Pal Szekely & Janos Vegso
Italy – Andrea Micheletti & Stefano Tomassetti
Japan – Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu
Lithuania – Darius Labanauskas & Mindauskas Barauskas
New Zealand – Cody Harris & Haupai Puha
Philippines – Lourence Ilagan & Noel Malicdem
Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
Republic of Ireland – Steve Lennon & William O’Connor
Russia – Boris Koltsov & Aleksei Kadochnikov
Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim
South Africa – Devon Petersen & Vernon Bouwers
Spain – Cristo Reyes & Toni Alcinas
Sweden – Dennis Nilsson & Magnus Caris
United States of America – Darin Young & Chuck Puleo
World Cup of Darts Fixtures
Thursday June 6
- Gibraltar v Japan
- Northern Ireland v South Africa
- New Zealand v Lithuania
- Belgium v Hong Kong
- Brazil v Sweden
- Wales v Singapore
- Hungary v Germany
- Scotland v Denmark
Friday June 7
- China v USA
- Italy v Canada
- Poland v Czech Republic
- Republic of Ireland v Greece
- England v Philippines
- Austria v Russia
- Australia v Finland
- Netherlands v Spain
Saturday June 8
- Eight Second Round Matches
Sunday June 9
- Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Final