Germany welcomed the PDC Premier League Darts to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin for the first time last Thursday and it is fair to say that the ten players experienced a night that they won’t forget in a while, in front of 12,000 fans, in what was an outstanding debut for German venues in the Premier League.
It helped of course that the cauldron atmosphere was ably carried along by some fantastic darts as the answers to some key questions were discovered. Who would win the battle of the 100% records between Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith? Would Rob Cross improvement in form continue? Who would come out on top in the clash of the Scots between Peter Wright and Gary Anderson?
Here is how Night Four of the Premier League transpired:
Night Four Results
Michael Smith 7-3 Simon Whitlock
The first match of the night was also the one that would decide who would be top of the table come the end of the evening as the two players with 100% records in the tournament so far came face to face. Simon Whitlock took the opening leg of the night but it was Michael Smith who then gained control, rattling off four legs in a row to lead 4-1 and then he closed out victory with a consistent performance to ensure that he heads into Week five clear at the top of the table.
Gerwyn Price 3-7 Mensur Suljovic
Although Mensur Suljovic was winless in his previous three games, I tipped him last week to beat Gerwyn Price and the Austrian duly delivered. Bar a few missed doubles, Suljovic’s form in the tournament has been excellent and that finally converted into a win here as he raced into a 5-1 lead over the Welshman. The players then shared the final four legs to ensure that Suljovic took a 7-3 victory and in doing so moved himself off the bottom of the table, placing Gerwyn Price there instead.
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Daryl Gurney
Daryl Gurney was seeking his first win of the Premier League campaign here in Berlin but it was Michael van Gerwen the World Number 1 who produced the sparkling darts in front of the biggest ever Premier League crowd to come away with a 7-2 win. The Dutchman played some superb darts to take a 6-1 lead before Gurney grabbed one leg back. It was a false dawn however as van Gerwen wrapped up the two points with a strong final leg to get back to winning ways after his previous week’s defeat to Peter Wright.
Rob Cross 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Raymond van Barneveld struggled to find his best form as he fell to another defeat in the Premier League, with Rob Cross putting together back-to-back wins to move himself much further up the table and off the bottom spot. The World Champion wasn’t quite back to his brilliant best, but scored highly enough and was far more clinical on the doubles to take this game 7-3. Barney needs to find his form soon if he is to avoid facing a relegation battle over the coming weeks.
Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson
The two Scottish competitors met in Berlin in what was always going to be a battle of styles and in the end, it was fitting that, as I predicted last week, the game finished up in a 6-6 draw between the players. In truth, it was a game that Wright could and perhaps should have won as he led Anderson 6-3 at one point, in what was a topsy-turvy game with Anderson actually leading 2-0 after the first two legs. The final leg was fantastic with Wright missing a bullseye to win the match before Anderson hit the bull himself to secure a point in a very high quality game.
Current Premier League Darts table
|Pos||Player||Ply||Legs For||Legs Ag||Pts||Leg Agg||3 Dart Avg||Checkout %age|
|2||Michael van Gerwen||4||26||14||6||+12||103.99||48.15%|
|7||Raymond van Barneveld||4||20||25||3||-5||94.02||33.9%|
Night One 180’s – 31
Most Individual 180s on Night One – Gary Anderson & Michael Smith (5)
Total Tournament 180’s – 106
Premier League Darts Night Four Preview
Just a quick aside from last weeks tips, the eagle eyed will have noted that I correctly predicted the result of all five games. If you’d backed that as an accumulator with Coral as some clever soul did, you’ll be £480 richer for a £10 stake. This week, the players are heading to the Westpoint Arena in Exeter in what promises to be an intriguing night of darts.
Gary Anderson (11/8) v Rob Cross (6/4) (3/1 the draw)
Fifth meets sixth in what could be a pivotal clash between two of the top four players in World Darts at present. Of the two, Rob Cross seems to be the one in slightly better form having won his last two games, while Gary Anderson has picked up just one point from his last two matches, albeit they were against the top two ranked players in the world in van Gerwen and Wright. I fancy this is going to be an absolutely belting match and I am going to go for Anderson’s slightly better 3-dart-average to be the key. Anderson to win this one 7-5.
Daryl Gurney (11/4) v Peter Wright (8/11) (7/2 the draw)
Daryl Gurney hasn’t found his best form in this tournament over the course of a whole match as yet. We have seen flashes of the Irishman’s best but he hasn’t yet put it together over a whole game. Peter Wright though has been letting players off the hook of late, letting another lead slip against Gary Anderson last week. Gurney at his best could take advantage of this but I he’s not quite in that rich vein of form as yet. I think Peter Wright’s greater consistency, especially on the doubles will see him win this one 7-4.
Mensur Suljovic (8/1) v Michael van Gerwen (2/9) (6/1 the draw)
The amiable Mensur Suljovic will have been delighted to break his Premier League duck last week against Gerwyn Price, but his chances of doubling up on that win are slim against the massively in form and current Premier League champ, Michael van Gerwen. The Dutchman has been playing darts from another planet at times during the Premier League so far and even with Suljovic’s decent average and checkout average, I can’t see anything but van Gerwen winning this one 7-3.
Raymond van Barneveld (7/5) v Michael Smith (7/5) (3/1 the draw)
It is something of a surprise to see Raymond van Barneveld rated as the same odds to win as Michael Smith, given Smith has won all four of his games in this tournament so far. Barney though has the knack of hitting his best form against the best players at the right time and it would be just like him to play a poor couple of weeks, but then become the first player to defeat Smith in the tournament this year. I can see Barney being fired up for this and so I am going for a slight shock here and Van Barneveld to win 7-5.
Simon Whitlock (11/10 v Gerwyn Price (15/8) (3/1 the draw)
Simon Whitlock wasn’t at his best last week against Michael Smith, but he faces Gerwyn Price this weekend with the Welshman struggling to find his form in the event. Price is without a win, while Whitlock has already three to his name and given the Aussie’s finishing percentages, Price is going to have to be bang on the doubles and lift his scoring power considerably to get a win here. I see Price battling hard but I am backing Whitlock to come out on top 7-4.