By News Team
Last Updated: 5th February 2020
Night one of the Premier League gets underway on Thursday in Aberdeen. The new arena houses several thousand screaming Scotsman, meaning there will be some nervy darts thrown.
Getting points on the board early is what they all need to do to ease the pressure ahead of the elimination night in week nine.
The winner for me will come from Peter Wright or Michael van Gerwen and the other two to join them in the play-offs will be Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price. That’s my four and the player to be eliminated is Glen Durrant who I do think is a good player, but he has never played in a tournament like this where every Thursday you are playing the best players in the world and if you get off to a bad start the pressure increases with every week.
Here’s my look ahead to night one…
Michael Smith vs Glen Durrant
Michael Smith was runner-up in the Masters on Sunday to Peter Wright, however he did have three darts at double top in the deciding leg to clinch his first major TV event and played very well to get to that final so it sets him up for this encounter.
Smith is one of the game’s raw talents and his scoring power is phenomenal when he gets on a run, however it’s his doubles that has always let him down in crucial legs.
Durrant did play in Glasgow last year as a contender and with what he has done when playing in the BDO and then last year on the PDC tour, it should have hardened him up with regard to the crowd.
Glen may not match Smith for the high scoring, though his overall solid game means he’s a match for anyone.
Because of how well Smith played last weekend I going with him to win this one.
Over 11.5 legs in the match (11/10)
Gary Anderson vs Daryl Gurney
Anderson also played well last weekend and there were signs that he’s coming back to somewhere near his best. He had that scoring power going and was very tight in the rest of his game. He did lose to Wright, but the stats were still very good with an average over the 100.
Daryl Gurney has not been on the best of form for a while now. His scoring has just not been there and it’s an essential part of his game because when that’s not on he does not panic on his doubles, but if he’s not scoring well then he has problems.
The way Anderson played last weekend, I have him winning this one.
Over 6.5 x 180s in the match (19/20)
Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
MVG has not played at the top of his form for quite a while now and he needs to get some form back. There is no question about his talent and when on his game he beats them all but he has come back into the pack now and the fear factor has certainly gone.
Wright is on a big high at the moment with winning the William Hill World Darts Championship and the Masters last weekend. He has now upped his consistency a bit and can now hit doubles under pressure.
This is the game we all want to watch. The form line is with Wright, however I’m going with the draw.
Over 11.5 legs (11/10)
Nathan Aspinall vs John Henderson
Nathan Aspinall has become a class player in a short time and rarely has bad games now. He might not quite have the scoring power of some players, but he certainly makes up for that in all other areas. A very tidy package now that the crowd will not effect him.
John Henderson got a draw out of this match against MVG last year. There is no question that the crowd will be on his side and they make plenty of noise. John’s game can be a high scoring one if he gets his ‘sway’ in sync.
Although the crowd will try to put Aspinall off I do believe he will stay focused enough to win.
Aspinall minus 1.5 legs on the handicap (19/20)
Gerwyn Price vs Rob Cross
Price has had a very good 18 months on the PDC tour leading into the World Darts Championship where he went out early and last weekend got a thrashing from Gary Anderson. However, he still had very good averages in that game so he’s not in as bad form as the result suggests.
Rob Cross just can’t seem to get any consistency going and his match in the Masters was certainly not one of his best. He does need a good start to get the confidence going and then he might get a result, however a draw at best for me if he can get going.
Price to win (21/20)
Other bets for week one
My other bets for the night are as follows:
Gary Anderson, Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price all to win (13/2)
Michael Smith, Gary Anderson, Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price all to win (15/1)