Unibet Premier League – Week 8 Previews & Predictions

The Unibet Premier League continues across Europe, and goes double Dutch, starting on Wednesday night.

The AHOY Arena in Rotterdam, Holland hosts back to back nights, where by the end of Thursday night’s play, we will know the player eliminated from the field.

It’s  a crucial two nights, especially for the players near the foot of the table. It’s looking like a straight shootout between Raymond van Barneveld and Michael Smith to avoid relegation.

Judgement night is nearing, and there’s plenty of mouth watering action to preview and predict.

Here are the matches.

Gerwyn Price (6th) v Michael Smith (8th)

One man in real danger of elimination this week, is last year’s Premier League and World Championship runner up, Michael Smith. He has endured a poor start to his 2019 Premier League campaign, with just two wins and a draw to his name.

He faces a tough test in the Netherlands on Wednesday night, with Gerwyn Price his opponent.

Premier League, Week 7

Smith was out of sorts again in Berlin, and struggled with the awkward rhythm of Mensur Suljovic, as the Austrian steamrollered Smith 7-2, with the St Helens’ man averaging a dismal 85.

Price was always playing catch up against Rob Cross in Germany, and despite a 98 average, and 50% on the doubles, he succumbed to a 7-4 defeat, leaving him with an outside chance of relegation should he fail to take anything from his match with “Bully Boy”

European Darts Open

Price was again thwarted by the eventual Champion, Michael van Gerwen, in the European Darts Open in Leverkusen last weekend. MVG triumphed 6-5 in the quarter finals.

Smith crashed out at the last 32 stage, beaten 6-5 by the talented Pole, Krzysztof Ratajski.

Prediction: Smith has been really struggling of late, and Price will look to make a fast start and pile the pressure on Smith early. Smith’s scoring hasn’t been anywhere near par lately, and I expect Price to run out a convincing 7-3 winner.

James Wade (3rd) v Dimitri van den Bergh (N/A)

Dimitri van den Bergh has long been touted as a future star in the PDC. Although a back to back World Youth Champion, the Belgian hasn’t quite yet converted monster averages and nine darters in some games, into the latter stages of tournaments.

He is the penultimate “Contender” with three wins and four defeats thus far for the players that have gone before him.

In Rotterdam, he will play a model of consistency in James Wade, who will look to solidify his lofty league position.

Premier League Week 7

Wade played out and entertaining and fair 6-6 draw with Peter Wright in last weeks’ action. Wright started well and held a commanding 5-2 lead, before Wade came roaring back to lead, with the last leg going to the Scot for a share of the spoils.

European Darts Open

Wade posted a solid showing in Leverkusen, reaching the quarter finals where Mensur Suljovic ran out a 6-2 winner.

van den Berg started off impressively, with a 6-1 win against Ritchie Edhouse, and then backed this up with a confrontational 6-3 scalp of Adrian Lewis. It was quite a surprise then that he exited at the last 16 stage without grabbing a leg, routed 6-0 by Daryl Gurney.

Prediction: Wade is playing very steady lately, and is coming into a real purple patch. I think his key clutch doubling will frustrate the Belgian, and I fancy Wade to dictate the match and ease to a 7-4 win.

Rob Cross (1st) v Mensur Suljovic (4th)

Rob Cross aims to keep his place at the top of the table, but it wont come easily against the Austrian grinder, Mensur Suljovic. A win for “The Gentle” would see him move within a point of his opponent.

Premier League Week 7

Cross produced a strong showing in Berlin last week. He was always in control of his contest with Gerwyn Price, and a 104.33 average powered him to a 7-4 win.

Suljovic was just as impressive, hammering Michael Smith 7-2, with over 50% success on the doubles.

European Darts Open

Cross was desperately unlucky in Leverkusen. He was head and shoulders above the rest of the field with high averages and checkouts throughout, but unfortunately, Michael van Gerwen was just too good for “Voltage”. In an astonishing final, MVG rattled in a 170 finish, both men averaged over 100, and both had over 60% success on the doubles, with the Dutchman running out an 8-6 winner.

Suljovic was also a van Gerwen victim, and also on the receiving end of a nine darter, in a 7-5 loss at the semi final stage.

Prediction: Both men are in good form, but Cross is approaching his World Championship winning form. His scoring has rapidly improved over the last few weeks, as well as his doubles. I think it could still be a tight game due to Suljovic’s methodical approach, but Cross should edge it 7-5.

Peter Wright (5th) v Michael van Gerwen (2nd)

Two men who are no strangers to each other clash in the penultimate match of the evening. Peter Wright looks to make upward progress in the table, while van Gerwen will fancy a return to form in the league following a fruitful weekend in Germany.

Premier League Week 7

Wright will be disappointed in having to settle for a point from his encounter with James Wade in Germany last week. He saw a 5-2 lead slip through his fingers, and in the end clung on for a point.

van Gerwen was stunned by Daryl Gurney in Berlin, with the Irishman not for catching in an impressive 7-5 win.

European Darts Open

Both Wright and van Gerwen enjoyed good runs in Leverkusen.

Wright was defeated 7-5 by Rob Cross in the last four, while van Gerwen was back to his ruthless best. He notched an audacious nine darter in his semi final with Mensur Suljovic, finishing 147 with  treble 19, Bullseye, tops, one of the most unique perfect legs in memory. He backed this up with a supreme quality 8-6 win against Rob Cross to lift the Title, and return to the winners enclosure.

Prediction: MVG has made a timely return to form, and he should be back to his ruthless and relentless best in his homeland. I think he will have too much for Wright in a 7-4 win.

Raymond van Barneveld (9th) v Daryl Gurney (7th)

Scrapping for his existence in the Premier League, in front of his adoring home crowd, is Raymond van Barneveld. Over the two days this week in Rotterdam, it’s a strong possibility the man from the Hague could eliminated from the Premier League, and this could even be confirmed as early as Wednesday night.

He faces Daryl Gurney on night eight, with two points a vital necessity with a judgement night meeting with compatriot Michael van Gerwen to come on Thursday night.

Premier League, Week 7

van Barneveld secured a vital two points last week in Berlin, when he overcame home town “contender” Max Hopp by a 7-3 score line. Both men didn’t play at their best, with Barney only reaching a 90 average. He did re-ignite his season however, with a 170 checkout along the way, the first of the Premier League this year.

Gurney enjoyed a superb win against Michael van Gerwen in Germany. A solid near 99 average, and over 40% success on his doubles

European Darts Open

Barney needed a good run in Leverkusen to aid his push for ranking points. He exited at the first hurdle though, defeated 6-4 by Steve Beaton.

Gurney impressed with convincing wins over Jeffrey de Zwaan and Dimitri van den Bergh, before falling at the quarter final stage in a 6-3 reverse at the hands of Peter Wright.

Prediction: Although Barney has been way below his best for some time, he seems to rise to the occasion in his home country. I think the Barney Army can lift the big Dutchman to a share of the spoils, in a tense and nervy 6-6 draw.

Picture: bettingdarts.com

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