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Premier League Darts 2020 – Tournament Preview

Premier League Darts 2020 – Tournament Preview

18 players. 17 nights. 16 venues. 1 trophy. Premier League darts is back!

Nine of the finest darts players on the planet, in addition a further nine highly-rated challengers, will battle it out over 16 nights of tungsten action in a bid to be crowned champion of the Premier League darts 2020. Here is everything you need to know about the event.

Where to watch Premier League darts?

The action will be broadcast on Sky every Thursday from the 6th February through to the 21st May, from 19:00. An additional night will be played on Wednesday 25th March, with Rotterdam featuring two consecutive nights of action.

 

What is the Premier League darts format

The Premier League has a different format from most professional darts events, due to the fact that the players can draw.

Every Thursday nine competitors, plus one of the nine challengers, will face off against one another across five pulsating best of 12 matches.

Though the challengers will only be playing for pride, the main competitors will be competing for points, with two available for a win and one for a draw.

After nine fixtures, the player who has earnt the least amount of points will be eliminated from the competition. The remaining eight players will then play each other once again over a further seven nights of action, at the conclusion of which a further four players will be eliminated.

Finally, on the 21st May, the remaining four players will compete in finals night. 1st will play 4th and 2nd will play 3rd in two best of 19 semi-finals, before the two winners will face off later that night in a best of 21 final.

 

Are Colossus running Premier League darts pools?

Absolutely! We will be running Correct Score – Pick 5 pools every until the conclusion of week 8 when a player will be eliminated. After that we will be offering Pick 4 pools until finals night. With some huge jackpots on offer, make sure you keep an eye on our pool pages.

 

Who will be competing in this year’s Premier League darts event?

Michael van Gerwen

PDC ranking: 1st

 

Roll of honour: 3x World Championship, 2x World Matchplay, 5x World Grand Prix, 3x Grand Slam, 5x Premier League, 4x European Championship, 2x UK Open, 5 Player Championship, 5x Masters, 1x Champions League

Best Premier League performance: Winner (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)Premier League darts

Verdict: A five-time Premier League darts champion, including the last four years on the bounce. It will come as no surprise that ‘Mighty’ Michael van Gerwen is considered the overwhelming favourite once again for this years’ event.

Widely considered the finest darts player on the planet, and in many quarters to be the greatest of all time, every player will consider him as the single greatest obstacle to winning the event this year. He’ll have a target on his back, just like he does in every tournament. Will it bother him? Of course not.

Having averaged 101.94 across his 16 league games in a dominant campiagn, MVG is without doubt the one to beat.

 

Peter Wright

PDC ranking: 2nd

Roll of honour: 1x World Championship, 1x UK Open

Best Premier League performance: Runner Up (2017)

Verdict: After a tough start to 2019 in wPremier League dartshich Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright suffered a crisis of confidence and form, the Scot gradually clawed his way back to his best. It culminated in him becoming World Champion on New Year’s Day.

Visibly emotional, Wright said after the win; “Champion of the world sounds amazing. You should never give up, it doesn’t matter how many times you get beaten.”

With the dust now settled on that historic win, Wright will have his sights set on another marquee title by winning the Premier League darts crown.

Struggling  at the time, Wright had a torrid time in the 2019 Premier League, finishing eighth in the table. However, he reached the final in 2017 and will be hoping for another improved showing this time.

 

Gerwyn Price

PDC ranking: 3rd

Roll of honour: 2x Grand Slam

Best Premier League performance: 5th (2019)

Verdict: If Peter Wright’s World Championship win was the storPremier League dartsy of the 2019 season, it was closely followed by the rise of Gerwyn Price. 2019 was truly the year that the Iceman cometh.

Having previously won one big tournament, reached two finals and a semi-final in four full seasons on tour, Price matched and surpassed his previous tally in a single season.

He won the Grand Slam of Darts for the second year running and reached the final of the European Championship as well as the Players Championship. Such was his form that he finished the season ranked as a career high third in the world.

Price missed out on the Premier League darts playoffs by a single place last season and the controversial Welshman will be determined not to be left out again this year.

 

Rob Cross

PDC ranking: 4th

Roll of honour: 1x World Championship, 1x World Matchplay, 1x European Championship

Best Premier League performance: Runner Up (2019)

Verdict: World Champion in his first full yearPremier League darts on the PDC tour, it’s hard to remember anyone making such a sudden and seismic impact on the sport as Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross.

A former electrician, Cross would be hoping that his shock win sparked a period of dominance in the sport. However, he struggled with the pressure that comes with the mantle of world champion and his semi-final appearance at the Premier League darts was his best result in the remainder of 2018.

Deposed of his title in 2019, the pressure seemingly lifted and Cross returned to his best form. He reached the final of the UK Open and the Premier League darts event, before winning the World Matchplay and the European Championship.

Having reached the semi-finals in his first Premier League darts campaign and then the final in his second, is Cross on course to go one better again and win the entire competition in 2020?

 

Michael Smith

PDC ranking: 5th

Roll of honour: n/a

Best Premier League performance: Runner Up (2018)

Verdict: Since the Bully Boy reached the final of the Premier League darts in 2019, he has been a mainstay at the bPremier League dartsusiness end of big tournaments.

Last year he reached the semi-finals of the UK Open, the Champions League of Darts and the European Championship as well as the final of the World Matchplay and the World Championships.

The only thing missing from his game? Holding his nerve and actually getting himself over the line to win an event. Having been drubbed 11-4 in the Premier League darts final and 7-3 in the World Championship final, both by Michael van Gerwen, Smith should no longer live in fear of the big finals. Mainly because he’s already been there and lost in them.

A hugely talented player, it will surely only be a matter of time until he does hold his nerve and win a big event. Will it be the Premier League darts that pops his cherry?

Gary Anderson

PDC ranking: 6th

Roll of honour: 2x World Championship, 1x World Matchplay, 2x Premier League, 1x UK Open, 1x Players Championship, 1x Champions League

Best Premier League performance: Winner (2011, 2015)Premier League darts

Verdict: Undoubtedly one of the greatest players in darts history, The Flying Scotsman has a career littered with trophies and major finals. On the active tour, only Michael van Gerwen has a bigger list of honours to his name.

It is a career that could, and probably would, have been even greater were Anderson not dogged with the back problems which have repeatedly forced him to pull out of tournaments or play whilst in pain.

The issues forced Anderson to pull out of last year’s Premier League darts event which, in turn, led to him being replaced by the nine wildcards who have now become a permanent fixture in the event, albeit rechristened as contenders.

Hopeful that his back problems are now under control, the Scot showed signs of returning to form in the latter stages of 2019. Whether he can find enough to pose a serious threat in this year’s Premier League darts event is yet to be seen.

 

Daryl Gurney

PDC ranking: 7th

Roll of honour: 1x World Grand Prix

Best Premier LeaguPremier League dartse performance: Semi-final (2019)

Verdict: Having hit a remarkable 67x 180s in his maiden Premier League darts campaign, ten more than Gary Anderson managed in second place, ‘SuperChin’ Daryl Gurney was let down by a checkout percentage of 38.7% as he narrowly missed out on the playoffs.

Last season his scoring dropped significantly, hitting 22 fewer 180s in three extra games. However, thanks to his checkout percentage increasing to 40.26% he was able to move up to fourth in the table and reach the semi-finals where he ran eventual champion Michael van Gerwen close, ultimately losing 10-7.

If Gurney can up his scoring power again, whilst retaining that check out consistency, there’s no reason that he can’t make a huge impact at this year’s event. Already popular with the Premier League darts crowd, Gurney is definitely an outsider to keep an eye on.

 

Nathan Aspinall

PDC ranking: 8th

Roll of honour: 1x UK Open

Best Premier League performance: n/a

Verdict: Having made his debut as a wildcard last season, Aspinall won’t be a total stranger to the competitipon as he embarks of his first full PPremier League dartsremier League darts campaign. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a completely happy occasion, he was hammered 7-2 by a ruthless Michael Smith in Nottingham.

Undeniably the least experienced contender professionally in this year’s event, Aspinall seems to be a big game player. He has reached the semi-finals of the World Championship in each of his two appearances and also won the UK Open last year, marking his first major tournament win.

Realistically he is unlikely to be challenging for the title at the first time of asking, however that isn’t to say he can’t make a significant impact. His first priority is to avoid being eliminated from the competition at the end of Week 8. If he manages that feat then a push for the playoffs would mark a very successful first tilt and would surely earn him another entry next year.

 

Glen Durrant

PDC ranking: 22nd

Roll of honour: n/a

Best Premier League performance: n/a

Verdict: Like Aspinall before him, Durrant makes his full time Premier League bow after appearing as a wildcard last year. Also like Aspinall before him, he got a pounding, losing 7-3 to Daryl Gurney despite averaging 99.89 on the night.Premier League darts

Having dominated the BDO prior to his switch to the PDC, it was unknown how Durrant would adapt to darts’ biggest events at the venerable age of 48. However, with semi-finals appearances at the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts in his debut season, it appears to have been fairly comfortable for Duzza.

With more miles on the clock than much of the field, Durrant will hope to make an immediate impact in this year’s Premier League darts event to secure his return in 2021. As such, he will be pushing hard for a place in that elusive top 4.

 

Premier League darts challengers

 

Week 1: John Henderson

PDC ranking: 31

Opponent: Nathan Aspinall

 

Week 2: Fallon Sherrock

PDC Ranking: 91

Opponent: Glen Durrant

 

Week 3: Jonny Clayton

PDC Ranking: 16

Opponent: Michael Smith

 

Week 4: William O’Connor

PDC Ranking: 37

Opponent: Michael van Gerwen

 

Week 5: Luke Humphries

PDC Ranking: 35

Opponent: Gary Anderson

 

Week 6: Stephen Bunting

PDC Ranking: 17

Opponent: Rob Cross

 

Week 7: Chris Dobey

PDC Ranking: 19

Opponent: Daryl Gurney

 

Week 8A: Jeffrey de Zwaan

PDC Ranking: 20

Opponent: Peter Wright

 

Week8B: Jermaine Wattimena

PDC Ranking: 23

Opponent: Gerwyn Price

 

Premier League darts predictions

 

Ok, let’s get it out of the way. Michael van Gerwen is clearly the most likely winner of the event. He’s won it three years running, four times in total and remains the best player in the world by a country mile. However, tipping the heavy favourite is hardly a brave prediction, so who else might have a decent year?

One player I like the look of it Gerwyn Price. The fiery Welshman has come on leaps and bounds in the last twelve months and fully deserves to be ranked third in the world as a result. He would have been second had Peter Wright not won the World Championships.

Price is perfect for Premier League darts. Happy to fulfil the role of pantomime villain and to be booed at every venue barring Cardiff, his confrontational style puts opponent off and gains him a vital edge. That isn’t to say he isn’t extremely talented though, his performances in the past year has proved that.

I’m confident that he’ll reach the final four this year and possibly the final itself.

Another player I fancy to surprise everybody this season in Glen Durrant. Despite being a relative newcomer to the PDC, the Teesider is vastly experienced from his time in the BDO. He’s been there, done it and with a cool disposition I can see him going from strength to strength as the tournament progresses. Not a potential winner in my eyes but I reckon he can pick up enough wins to make the final four.

If Price and Durrant join van Gerwen in the final four, then at least one of the other big favourites will have to make way. This season my money is going on newly-crowned world champion Peter Wright.

Despite his heroics in the Ally Pally, and that he reached the final in 2017, overall Wright hasn’t had a great deal of success in Premier League darts. In his other five entries into the tournament, he has finished 5th, 9th, 5th, 7th and 8th. As we saw in 2018 with Rob Cross, there’s nothing like winning the World Championships to put you off your game.

I can see a distracted Peter Wright going off the boil in the early months of the year and missing out on the playoffs yet again.

Finally, a couple of contender predictions. None of the contenders managed a win last season, though four of them did achieve a draw. I can see a similar result occurring in week two when Fallon Sherrock takes on Glen Durrant in Nottingham.

Sherrock played out of her skin in front of a fiercely supportive Ally Pally crowd in December, who cheered on every dart as she became the first woman ever to win a match in the World Championships. She then dispatched Mensur Suljovic in the second round, so clearly doesn’t fear the biggest players.

The crowd will once again be right on her side and, despite being the lowest ranked player in the event, I reckon she can produce another big performance to draw with Durrant.

Can any of the contenders finally grab a win? I reckon the best bet could well be the talented young Englishman Luke Humphries. Having reached the quarter-finals of the World Championships two years running, the future looks bright for Humphries. If Gary Anderson isn’t back to the form we know he is capable of, I sense an upset in the making.

 

What are the Premier League darts fixtures in 2020?

 

Thursday February 6
Aberdeen – P&J Live

Michael Smith v Glen Durrant
Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall v John Henderson
Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross

Thursday February 13
Nottingham – Motorpoint Arena

Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Glen Durrant v Fallon Sherrock
Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen

Thursday February 20
Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena

Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Jonny Clayton v Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Aspinall
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Glen Durrant v Gary Anderson

Thursday February 27
Dublin – 3Arena

Glen Durrant v Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith
William O’Connor v Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright

Thursday March 5
Exeter – Westpoint Exeter

Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant
Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Luke Humphries
Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen

Thursday March 12
Liverpool – M&S Bank Arena

Michael Smith v Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross v Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall

Thursday March 19
Newcastle – Utilita Arena

Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Nathan Aspinall v Gerwyn Price
Chris Dobey v Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright v Glen Durrant

Wednesday March 25
Rotterdam – Ahoy Rotterdam

Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price
Nathan Aspinall v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen v Glen Durrant
Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan

Judgement Night, Thursday March 26
Rotterdam – Ahoy Rotterdam

Glen Durrant v Rob Cross
Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Jermaine Wattimena v Gerwyn Price

 


 

Our brand new darts pools were unveiled by the history-making Fallon Sherrock, who will compete in this year’s Premier League darts event. For more information, click here.

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