It was vintage Michael van Gerwen in last Thursday in Leeds as he moved clear of Jonny Clayton at the top of the Darts Premier League table.
MVG took on winless wonder James Wade in a final that only lasted a matter of minutes and may as well have been a whitewash.
True, he got a bye in the first round due to Gary Anderson’s covid enforced withdrawal, but on this form that would have been a formality anyway.
The Dutchman moved three points clear at the top of the table by becoming the first player to win a third-night title adding to his wins in Exeter and Brighton last month.
This is an event the former world number one has won on five occasions and in this form, he looks like another could be on the way.
Pete’s Tips For Night 10
- Back Peter Wright or Gerwyn Price to throw a 180 in the first leg of the night’s opener for 11/10 at bet365.
- Also from the night’s glamour tie between the world’s top two darters, why not back a 170 big fish finish from either player at 11/1, also at bet365.
- We should get plenty of 180s in the final match of the night, no one has pinned more than Joe Cullen after all, and with Bully Boy being pretty tasty on the tipple 20s too, the 5/6 given at bet365 for there to be more 6.5 in the match looks likely to pay off.
Unfortunately, we did not predict Gerwyn Price’s new walk-on song.
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Back To His Best
Someone as good as Michael van Gerwen was never going to be off the boil for very long and it feels like something big is stirring in the Green Machine right now.
Gary Anderson’s withdrawal meant that the world number three benefitted from going straight through to the semi-finals where defeated world champion Peter Wright 6-3 before laying on a whirlwind annihilation of James Wade in the final, winning 6-1 and posting a 103.87 average.
Racing into a three-leg lead following finishes of 76, 68 and a 14-darter, Mighty Mike closed out the match following 14 dart finish reply from Wade, with another 13-darter and another two legs of 15 and 11 darts to close out his third seasonal victory.
This week, play moves to Manchester and the AO Arena.
Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
The world number one takes on the world number two to get things underway this Thursday and it’s hard to see anything other than a win for Snakebite.
Apart from one sensational night in Belfast where The Iceman was unplayable, Price really hasn’t been at the races in this year’s Darts Premier League.
He was unlucky to miss night five in Brighton with covid but hasn’t made a final since.
His broken hand is clearly bothering him, and a fortnight ago he looked like he was sporting a black eye.
On Saturday, he was shot down by world number 73 Gordon Mathers 6-5 in a Player Championship match so something is clearly not right with The Iceman.
It’s strange to think that neither of these two have picked up multiple night wins, but it’s Wright that looks the more likely.
Peter has 44 180s this year to a lowly 23 from Gerwyn Price, a mark lower than anyone else in the competition.
You get the impression that Price needs an early break of throw or time will run out on the short format race to six legs.
Although there is every chance that The Iceman is over the worst and could come roaring back in to form, I’m sticking with Snakebite to progress.
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Game two of night 10 pits Gary Anderson against two-time losing night finalist James Wade.
Wade is one of only two players left in the event still to win a night but after reaching – and losing – the last two finals, he is getting closer.
The Machine averaged 93.59 in last week’s final but still couldn’t live with MVG, but something similar out of the blocks this week could be more than enough to see off bottom-placed Anderson.
The Flying Scotsman has only got seven points on the board so far this season, but as we have seen elsewhere with Joe Cullen, one night win can really change everything.
He just doesn’t look like getting it anytime soon and I would expect a Wright versus Wade semi-final.
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
The top two collide in match three.
Take nothing away from Jonny Clayton, he has been one of the more consistently impressive performers in this year’s Darts Premier League, but if last week was anything to go by, he is running into Michael van Gerwen at the exact wrong time.
Mighty Mike was back to looking like his old self in Leeds and, throwing first, has the darts to close the Ferret out.
After 16 rounds so far, MVG has the highest tournament average and has posted 13 ton plus checkouts, one ahead of James Wade.
The Green Machine even put in a 103.87 performance in the final last week and, with that being the last I saw him, is enough for him to get my backing this week in Manchester.
Joe Cullen v Michael Smith
The final match of the evening is Joe Cullen and Michael Smith.
With no draws allowed in the Premier League of Darts someone has to win this one and I think that will be Michael Smith.
In a rematch of the UK Open final, a match won by Joe Cullen by the way, Smith is desperate for a night title although he is likely to run into MVG in the next round.
No one has popped in more 180’s in this year’s tourney than Joe Cullen’s 47 but The Rockstar was well beaten by Jonny Clayton last week.
Not that Bully Boy fared much better in his first round match but, Rotterdam aside, Cullen hasn’t quite looked right for a little while and with Smith sporting the top doubles and checkout percentage across the whole league, the St Helens chucker gets the nod.
BET365 DARTS BETTING PRICES
Online sportsbook Bet365 has the following betting lines for the first round of Nights 10 of the Darts Premier League.
Peter Wright (8/11) v (11/10) Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson (4.5) v (1/1) James Wade
Michael van Gerwen (8/13) v (13/10) Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen (4/5) v (1/1) Michael Smith
PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS WEEKLY WINNER NIGHT 10 BET365 DARTS BETTING ODDS
Michael van Gerwen – 3/1
Peter Wright – 4/1
Gerwyn Price – 9/2
Jonny Clayton – 11/2
Joe Cullen – 7/1
Michael Smith – 8/1
Gary Anderson – 11/1
James Wade – 12/1
PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS OUTRIGHT WINNER BET365 DARTS BETTING ODDS
Michael van Gerwen – 2/1
Peter Wright – 3/1
Jonny Clayton – 7/2
Gerwyn Price – 13/2
James Wade – 12/1
Michael Smith – 14/1
Joe Cullen – 14/1
Gary Anderson – 50/1
PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS TABLE
|Player||Nights Won||Matches Won||Leg Difference||Points|
|Michael van Gerwen||3||13||+37||22|
*pulled out of Night Five with injury
QUICK GLANCE AT THE PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS WEEK 9
Venue: AO Arena, Manchester
Format: Best of 11 legs (first to six)
Current Champion: Jonny Clayton
Where To Watch: Sky Sports Main Event HD & Sky Sports Action HD
When To Watch: 19:00 UK