We’re already into Week 3 of the Darts Premier League and things are heating up. Ed Acteson is thoroughly enjoying the action so far and has come up with his verdict on every match in the £20,000 Pick 5 pool this Thursday. He reckons that Michael Smith will get over his late collapse last week to put Jonny Clayton to the sword. If you agree with Ed’s Premier League darts tips, join his Syndicate.
Peter Wright vs. Rob Cross
It already looks as though Peter Wright is going to be my undoing in these pools this season. In week one I tipped van Gerwen to beat Snakebite convincingly and, although he did win, I narrowly missed out on the correct score.
Then last week I went against the grain and tipped Gary Anderson to beat Wright 7-5. Anderson was 6-5 up and just needed to break the throw of Wright, who had injured himself getting on stage. Instead Wright threw a 12 dart leg to break my heart again.
This week he faces Rob Cross, a man still finding his way back to form and fitness. Despite not playing brilliantly so far, Cross sits third in the table having drawn with Gerwyn Price in week one and beaten Nathan Aspinall 7-5 in week two. He is nowhere near his best yet but, to his credit, keeps on grinding out results.
I sense another close encounter, the outcome to which really depends on whether Wright has recovered from that twisted ankle last week. If he has, I reckon he could be in line for his first win of the tournament. If not then a draw, or even a narrow Cross win, are big possibilities. I’ll take Wright 7-5 as my main bet but will cover surrounding selections to play it safe.
Premier League Darts Tips: Peter Wright
Michael Smith vs. Jonny Clayton
In my Darts Premier League tournament preview I wrote of Michael Smith: “The only thing missing from his game? Holding his nerve and actually getting himself over the line to win an event.”
Nowhere was that lack of nerve more obvious than in his capitulation against Gerwyn Price last week. As Smith surged to a 6-2 lead, he was averaging nearly 120 and, had he claimed the win, it would have been regarded as one of the all-time great performances.
Instead, he tripped and fell just before the finishing line, allowing Price to win four straight legs and claim an unlikely point. For a man who calls himself Bully Boy, Smith has is nowhere near as ruthless as he should be and needs to start punishing opponents.
He won’t have a better chance than against this week’s Contender, Jonny Clayton. The World Number 16 is no mug but is in a poor run of form. Indeed, he has lost five of his last ten matches, with the last four defeats coming against the lowly-ranked Nick Kenny (95th), Dirk van Duijvenbode (94th), Ross Smith (47th) and Daniel Larsson (101st). It is a run of form that Smith will not be fearing.
So the question is, will last week’s meltdown have damaged Smith’s confidence or will he come out with a point to prove? My money is on the latter and I’m expect a comfortable win for the favourite.
Premier League Darts Tips: Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen vs. Nathan Aspinall
That’s more like it. Michael van Gerwen’s 7-1 demolition of Daryl Gurney last week will have send shockwaves through the rest of the Premier League. MVG was ruthless, back to his best and it is no wonder he scoffed at talk of a crisis.
He meets Nathan Aspinall who has made a quietly confident start to life a Premier League player, dismantling John Henderson in week one before narrowly losing out to Rob Cross last week. Just 18 months ago Aspinall was considering his future in darts but, if he continues to play as he has been recently, he has a big future ahead of him.
Unfortunately, the last person you want to encounter when trying to get some form together is van Gerwen. His 105.05 average last week was the highest in this year’s Premier League so far, narrowly bettering the 104.13 average scored in week one by… Michael van Gerwen.
I really think van Gerwen is out to make a statement this year. If he continues to play like he did last week then nobody stands a chance of taking his Premier League crown away from him.
I’d expect Aspinall to do slightly better than Gurney but not enough to prevent a comfortable win for MVG.
Premier League Darts Tips: Michael van Gerwen
Daryl Gurney vs. Gerwyn Price
This week’s Premier League takes place in Cardiff, the one venue in which Gerwyn Price (probably) won’t get booed by the crowd.
Not that he minds. The former rugby player seems to thrive on riling the crowd and opposition alike. However, with them cheering his name I’d expect him to perform confidently this week.
Price will have taken enormous heart from his dramatic comeback against Michael Smith last week as he won four straight legs to claim a draw. He did the same in week one against Rob Cross, albeit winning the last two legs to secure a point.
At some point the Welshman will click into gear and become the frontrunner in a match rather than having to play catch up. With the crowd behind him, he might see this week as the perfect opportunity to do so against Daryl Gurney, who will be shellshocked from his annihilation at the hands of van Gerwen.
At times the Northern Irishman was little more than a spectator and the only crumb of comfort he can take is that he wasn’t whitewashed. Gurney’s scoring wasn’t particularly bad, he actually threw 20x 100+ visits including 7 that were 140+, both of which were more than his opponent. However, he only landed 1/6 attempts on the double which is unforgivable against the best player on the planet.
Although I would expect an improved performance from Superchin, I think Price will be in the better frame of mind this week and will take him for the win.
Premier League Darts Tips: Gerwyn Price
Glen Durrant vs. Gary Anderson
Both have made strong starts to the season with a win and a draw. I was, and remain, of the opinion that Durrant will have a great campaign but was hesitant about Gary Anderson until I saw him in action. After two weeks I am firmly in Team Ando.
I thought Anderson was actually better in his draw against Peter Wright last week than he was in the opening week. When you factor in his sensational win in the PTC event the weekend before last, he is clearly on his way back to the top, assuming he suffers no further injury setbacks.
In honesty I felt enormously sorry for Durrant in his draw against Fallon Sherrock last week. He claimed after the match that he thought the crowd were great and hadn’t put him off but it appeared to be a diplomatic move. I actually thought they were disgraceful and went beyond what could reasonably be described as merely supporting one player.
Every dart he threw was booed and, on more than one occasion, he was on the end of fairly abusive chants. It was by no means the fault of Fallon but I felt bad for him.
And I reckon I’ll feel sorry for him again this week. Anderson is playing very well and, although it could be a gritty affair, I reckon Anderson will ultimately get the break needed to come out on top.
Premier League Darts Tips: Gary Anderson
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