Is he back? He just might be. We have our first multi-night winner in this year’s PDC Darts Premier League as Michael van Gerwen, now number five in the world, wins on successive nights.
After winning in Exeter a fortnight ago, MVG also took the honours in Brighton last Thursday.
If he is back, then it is certainly good timing as he is involved in this week’s glamour tie against Gerwyn Price who himself was forced to pull out of last week’s event due to injury.
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On route to last week’s five points, Mighty Mike took out James Wade, Joe Cullen and Michael Smith, who, while not a ranking major, lost out once again at the final stage.
Return Of The Mighty Mike
The Dutchman took out a 106 check out before chucking in a 12 dart leg to open up a two-leg lead in a race to six.
Smith was a bit sloppy on his doubles which allowed van Gerwen to make the break which is often so decisive in these short format best of 11 leg matches.
Bully Boy stayed in touch though and before long had impressively cut MVG’s 4-1 lead down to 5-4 only to see Mighty Mike respond with an 11 darter to secure his second successive night title.
The win moves the Dutchman to the top of the Premier League Darts table, 14 points clear of Peter Wright who went out in the first round after losing his match against Jonny Clayton.
MVG, who also won the German Darts Championship at Halle 39 in Hildesheim at the weekend, is also a whopping 21 legs ahead of Snakebite in leg difference should he need it come the end of the nightly tourney runs. On this form, he won’t.
This week, the action moves to Nottingham, but what can we expect from Night Six of the Premier League of Darts with odds provided by the great Bet365 Online Sportsbook.
Michael Smith vs James Wade
Michael Smith put in his best performance so far in this year’s Premier League of Darts a week ago when he made it all of the way to the final match, only to lose once again, this time to Michael van Gerwen.
This latest final defeat is unlikely to play on his mind, however, and Bully Boy can build on what he achieved seven days ago so is favoured to overcome James Wade in the night’s opener.
Smith fought back last week in the final against MVG and was much improved in terms of landing his trademark 180s, pinning 11 across his three games.
Typically, he is a heavier scorer than The Machine, but his doubles let him down last week which, is where Wade could possibly find some joy.
We’re still leaning towards the St Helens man though.
Michael van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price
Dropping down to world number five seems to have been the shot in the arm that Michael van Gerwen required as, UK Open aside, he has been back to his unbeatable best over the last couple of weeks, winning three out of his last four events.
The Green Machine followed up his Premier League brace with a first Euro Tour title for nearly three years last Sunday.
His two victories in the Premier League seem to have relieved him of that pressure that has been building recently and now he looks a real threat once again.
Given the condition of his opening opponent, he has to be the favourite to progress this week.
As for Gezzy, he missed last week’s event in Brighton after pulling out at the last minute with a hand injury.
The Iceman remains in the playoff places but can now ill afford to drop or lose any more points and needs to get some evening title wins under his belt quickly.
On present form, the Welshman will need to hit the ground running over a Mighty Mike that is starting to look more like his old self.
Right now, should the match go ahead, it’s hard to see a recovering Price springing a surprise in the night’s glamour tie.
Gary Anderson vs Jonny Clayton
In the other half of the draw, we’re backing Jonny Clayton to come through.
The Ferret lost out to Daryl Gurney in Germany on Sunday in the German Championship final and is very much at home among the world’s elite darters right now following a fantastic 18 months and we believe that he will put on another dominant display against Gary Anderson in Nottingham.
Anderson has not won a match in the Premier League since the opening night and is badly in need of some wins at the Motorpoint.
The Flying Scotsman is currently propping up the table, three points adrift of the rest.
The scoring hasn’t been right for the Scotsman so far this year and, while he will deny it, he has looked a little disinterested for a while now.
Expect Clayton to pile on more Premier League Darts misery for Anderson this week.
Joe Cullen vs Peter Wright
Joe Cullen got a bye in the quarter-final of last week’s event due to Gerwyn Price’s withdrawal and benefitted from some much-needed league points.
While we’re sure that the Rockstar would rather have played the world number two, he was awarded a fortunate 6-0 token victory that is very much welcome.
It is possible that the same could happen this week too as Peter Wright had to withdraw midway through the Euro Tour event in Germany at the weekend due to a back injury.
Thankfully though, Snakebite has declared himself fit again and ready to play.
That being said, it is difficult to know just how pain free he is and what affect it will have on his game so, what was likely to be an easy prediction to make, is now a little more tricky.
The world number one was playing relatively well prior to pulling out over the weekend event, and with Cullen having failed to win a Premier League game since Night Two, his default win over Gerwyn Price last week notwithstanding, Wright still looks the favourite here if we are to take him at his word regarding his fitness.
BET365 DARTS BETTING PRICES
Michael Smith (1/2) Vs (13/8) James Wade
Michael van Gerwen (8/11) Vs (11/10) Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson (13/8) Vs (1/2) Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen (6/4) Vs (8/15) Peter Wright
PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS TABLE
|Player||Nights Won||Matches Won||Leg Difference||Points|
|Michael van Gerwen||2||8||+26||14|
*pulled out of Night Five with injury
QUICK GLANCE AT THE PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS WEEK 6
Venue: The Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Format: Best of 11 legs (first to six)
Current Champion: Jonny Clayton
Where To Watch: Sky Sports Main Event HD & Sky Sports Arena HD
When To Watch: 19:00 UK