Will the 2019 Premier League be the best Premier League ever?
The 2019 premier league darts starts on the 7th February and couldn’t come soon enough. In this blog we will be discussing reasons why I personally think the premier league this year will be the best ever since the tournament started in 2005.
Firstly, before we get into the main part of the blog, here is a reminder of the participants in the premier league.
- Michael van Gerwen
- Rob Cross
- Peter Wright
- Gary Anderson
- Michael Smith
- Daryl Gurney
- Gerwyn Price
- Mensur Suljovic
- James Wade
- Raymond van Barneveld
Heading into the tournament Michael van Gerwen is the lead favourite to win, after winning the world championships and is on good form, he would also be the favourite to top the group for a 7th consecutive year. However, that being said, the remaining places from second downwards to last place could be very unpredictable.
This year the competition is at its toughest yet, with all 10 players winning something on TV last year. MVG winning the Masters, Premier League, World Cup, Auckland Darts Masters, Grand Prix and World Championships. Cross winning the Brisbane Darts Masters. Wright winning the Melbourne Darts Masters, Anderson winning the UK Open, Matchplay, Las Vegas Darts Masters and Champions League. Michael Smith winning the Shanghai Darts Masters. Gurney winning the Players Championships Finals. Price winning the Grand Slam. Suljovic winning the German Darts Masters. Wade winning the European Championships and World Series Finals. Barney winning the World Cup. We all know that these players have also been runners up in tournaments.
This year each player has a big chance of making it to the O2 for finals night: (Excluding Michael van Gerwen)
Firstly, we will start of with world number two Rob Cross, this year will be Cross’ 2nd year in the premier league and has already gotten used to playing every Thursday evening. He settled after three weeks last year with the burden on his shoulders from winning the worlds, although he doesn’t have that anymore. He reached the semi final last year and finished 4th, there is no reason why this year he cannot replicate that. He could even go one better and make the final, or even win. I think this year Cross is a big threat and has a good chance of winning.
Secondly, lets talk about Peter Wright. The world number three has been in a spot of bother recently, he has been changing his darts and had an early exit from the worlds. What Wright will do this year is unknown, although, I think he will find some good form again and will be able to challenge for a place at the O2.
Gary Anderson will be the main man that can challenge to win the tournament, he has already won before back in 2011 and 2015, there is no real reason why he cannot win again, unless his back is playing up. I think he is the most likely candidate to reach finals night as well as MVG.
Daryl Gurney just missed out on a place at the O2 last year, he had a poor start and kept drawing, missing important doubles that could have seen him winning matches. Gurney will be back again this year after winning the Players Championships Finals, although he has hadn’t had the best of years after his son was born during the latter part of the premier league. Purely based on form, he would have too improve his game to stand a chance at reaching finals night.
Michael Smith has one of the biggest chances to reach finals night this year as he has shown the world of darts his capabilities last year, he was runners up in the premier league last year and almost won his first major at the World Series Finals, having missed match darts. He came back stronger and reached the world championships final but came short to MVG. This year he is one of the favourites to replicate his performance last year and could go all the way.
Gewryn Price struggled last year when he made his debut in the premier league last year, he came bottom and had no wins to his name. People doubted about his darting abilities. He even told the media about his experiences in the premier league and hated it. When he was finally eliminated at Judgement Night, Price’s game increased dramatically. He then went to produce the best darts of his life and managed to win the Grand Slam, his first ever major which earned him a spot for the prem this year. This year can go one of two ways for him, he will either learn from pervious mistakes last year and improve his game and could potentially go to the O2. Or, it could be a repeat of last year for him.
Mensur Suljovic is another name to have another crack at the premier league this year, having struggled a lot last year. Last year Suljovic played some brilliant darts, yet he wasn’t winning enough matches and along with Price, was eliminated at Judgement Night. This year, we will see Suljovic play even better and will most likely not be eliminated, but might still need getting used too playing every week.
James Wade is back in the premier league, after not being selected last year. Last year Wade won back-t0-back TV titles, after a two year drought. This year, he feels happier than he has been in recent years and therefore we can expect to see him play some good darts. I don’t personally see him making it all the way to finals night, neither do I think he will be eliminated. We will see some snippets of prime Wade for sure.
And finally last but not least, Raymond van Barneveld. Barney’s selection for the premier league was a very controversial decision. He definitely does not deserve to be there with what he has achieved over the past twelve months. However, this year is his final year on the PDC circuit, so they all want to make it his farewell tour. Barney will be playing in Rotterdam, so he can compete there for the final time, this is because Judgment Night is at Rotterdam, so Barney will be playing. I don’t think he would make finals night because he will have to win enough money to play in the worlds for the final time, so he will feel even more fatigued.
Who do you think will win and make it to the top 4?