We’re into the nitty-gritty of Premier League Darts 2019, and Week Eight of the competition brings with it those dreaded words: Judgement Night. It’s time for our Premier League Darts 2019 week eight betting preview.
Phase 1 comes to an end with a double-header in Rotterdam, where one player will be eliminated at the end of Thursday’s action.
With four points available from the pair of games, there are a quartet of players in danger of finishing bottom of the table: Raymond van Barneveld, Michael Smith, Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price.
Mathematically speaking, Peter Wright is also in danger on eight points, although his positive leg difference should keep him safe barring a couple of heavy thrashings.
So, let’s take a look at the action for ‘Week 8A’, which is Wednesday’s first set of fixtures from the Ahoy Arena.
Squeaky Bum Time for Smith and Price
Should Raymond van Barneveld continue his mild renaissance, then both Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price could be in danger of finishing bottom of the pile.
Bully Boy has five points to his name compared to Barney’s four, and 24 hours later Smith will play James Wade in the final match of the night.
Price, meanwhile, tackles Peter Wright on Thursday, and so the Iceman will be looking to ease his nerves with victory over Smith on Wednesday.
The World Championship finalist has gone off the boil completely in recent weeks, admittedly beating the hapless Nathan Aspinall but with a 93.99 average before getting trounced 2-7 by Mensur Suljovic in Berlin.
First game on, Price will benefit from a quieter crowd who might otherwise be tempted to heckle him after a few more libations later in proceedings. He looks the value at 8/5 with Betfred given that Smith, 7/5 with MansionBet, needs to find a considerable improvement.
Wade v Van den Bergh
Second on will be Wade, who takes on 8A’s Contender in the shape of Dimitri Van den Bergh.
The Machine may have only taken a point from his last two games but he’s still playing good darts, averaging 98 in that pair of outings, and he has the experience factor on his side.
This is unchartered territory for Van den Bergh, the Belgian in Rotterdam. He has delivered some outstanding performances on big stages in the past, but the fact that none of the Contenders have yet to win a game cannot be ignored.
Cross Faces Suljovic
The good times have returned again for former world champion Rob Cross. Top of the Premier League table with eleven points, Voltage also boasts a phenomenal tournament average of 101.38; the best by some margin.
In Rotterdam he tackles Mensur Suljovic, fresh off the back of two comfortable victories.
It’s a clash between two of the premier performers in world darts at present, and so viewers are in for a treat. As for punters, well, good luck splitting them here!
MVG Back on Track
Fourth onto stage on Wednesday will be Michael van Gerwen, who after appearing to be reeling there for a while showed his true champion class in the European Darts Open at the weekend.
He overcame a tough draw to lift the trophy in fine style, and the Dutchman looked to be somewhere near his best in Leverkusen.
MVG, as ever, will enjoy a return to home comforts in Rotterdam, and he has a habit of raising his game against his old nemesis, Peter Wright.
Snakebite finds himself down in fifth place at the moment despite a very handsome tournament average of 99, and while it would take the kind of maths that would take Pythagoras blush, Wright can still be eliminated if he is thrashed 0-7 here.
MVG boasts a 53-15 head-to-head lead over Wright, and against a player who is known for his mental frailties this looks to be a one-way contest.
There’s No Place Like Home for Barney
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that Raymond van Barneveld will play well in the Netherlands.
He has been in poor form of late, that cannot be denied, but with green shoots of recovery confidence is mounting.
Barney reached a final of a Pro Tour event a couple of weekends ago, and backed up with victory over Max Hopp in Berlin; never an easy fixture to navigate.
Revelations about his private life are out in the open now, and that has perhaps helped to lighten the Dutchman’s load.
As for Wednesday’s opponent, Daryl Gurney, he too enjoyed a jolt of confidence with victory over MVG last time out.
The Irishman played very nicely too, and put a couple of derisory performances to bed with that 7-5 triumph.
Mind you, Gurney is just three points clear of Barney in the table, and with a partisan crowd backing the home favourite – and potentially jeering and whistling the Irishman at every turn – this notorious ‘sulker’ will have his work cut out in keeping his game and state of mind in good order.
In RVB’s last three Premier League games in Holland, he has beaten Van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock, averaging around 101 across the trio. That just goes to show how much he loves returning home.
We’re anticipating a decent tussle between Smith and Price in the night’s opener, and both will surely up their game with relegation a live possibility.
But there’s nothing between them in many statistical categories, and for that reason the draw at 10/3 with Bet365 looks a value proposition.
You could make a case that Rob Cross is back to his very best right now, and any opportunity to back him at an odds-against price should be welcomed with open arms.
And lastly to Barney, an emotional homecoming and one of the few occasions left he has the opportunity to play competitive darts in the Netherlands. Expect him to deliver a performance to match.
- Gerwyn Price-Michael Smith Draw at 10/3 with Bet365
- Rob Cross to Win at 21/20 with MansionBet
- Raymond van Barneveld to Win at 9/4 with Coral