The Premier League Darts enters the second phase of the season and heads to Sheffield on Thursday for what is an important evening of action as eight players battle it out in a bid to reach the play-offs.
Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price were both eliminated on Judgement Night last week in Liverpool, and it’s sure to be another entertaining night on the oche.
Our darts expert takes us through the pick of the matches.
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
It’s a battle of the Scots in Sheffield and Wright simply must get off to a good start if he has any hopes of making the final four.
‘Snakebite’ squeezed through to the latter stages but has not been in good form for a little while now and is 12/5 with Grosvenorsport.com to see off his compatriot on the night.
It isn’t hard to see why Anderson is 9/10 favourite and The Flying Scotsman has found his form at just the right time despite suffering a 7-5 loss to current World Champion Rob Cross last week in Liverpool.
Wright ended on a positive last week as he secured a last-leg decider to pick up a point against Daryl Gurney and a repeat of that 6-6 draw can be backed at 33/10.
I think the big-game experience of Anderson should win through, and will back him to have the highest checkout in the contest at 33/10 . The free scoring two-time world champion is a fancied 6/4 to win the match and have the most 180s.
Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen
It’s fourth against first as the Wizard of Oz attempts to get the better of the world number one in Sheffield.
Whitlock started the Premier League in good form with three wins on the spin, and despite an indifferent spell after that, did enough to qualify for the second half of the campaign. MvG was his imperious self throughout.
A bet on MvG which could be of some value is for him to win the encounter while claiming the highest checkout and the most 180s, which can be backed at 6/5.
Michael Smith v Rob Cross
This could be the contest of the night as two in-form Englishman pit their wits against each other.
Smith whitewashed Raymond van Barneveld 7-0 last week and kept us his good form by winning Saturday’s Players Championship Seven final with a 6-2 triumph over Adrian Lewis.
Cross was also a winner last week in Liverpool, coming out on top 7-5 against Anderson in a rematch of the World Championship semi-finals, and after a tough start to life in the Premier League has settled in nicely.
This match has the potential to go all the way and even though he is the underdog, I would be tempted to go with Smith to upset the current world champ, by taking the win along with the highest checkout and most 180s in the match – available at 10/1.