Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
With only three rounds left before the semi-finals, it’s crunch time for Gerwyn Price while Daryl Gurney is merely playing for pride now as he sits six points adrift of fourth. There’s still everything to play for for the Iceman as just three points separate third and seventh in the table. Defeat to the Asp last night put him further down in the pecking order as he now sits out of the playoffs by a solitary point, though we’d expect him to come out two points better off after this evening.
Having posted back-to-back wins in phase one to save himself from elimination, SuperChin has lost three of his four matches in phase two to leave him rooted to the bottom of the table. It’s not been the most prolific year for the Northern Irishman with just two semi-final runs to his name, and it looks like his wait for a title this year will go on that little bit longer.
Price would like to call on a W9-D3-L3 record against Gurney, though three of their four Premier League meetings have ended in draws including their phase one matchup. Price will be fully aware that defeat would leave him with a serious uphill battle to make the top four, so we’d expect him to come up trumps and we’ll get behind him even at such a short price.
Gary Anderson v Michael Smith
The Flying Scotsman has soared up to second place in the standings winning four of five unbeaten matches in phase two. He’ll face Michael Smith here knowing a win cements his place in the playoffs, though Smith can ill afford to lose this one.
Bully Boy sits in seventh place, but just two points outside the top four, defeat could draw the curtains on his Premier League campaign, and we’d expect him to mount a serious challenge here. Smith has won four of the last six meetings between the two, though unfortunately for him those two came in the two most recent meetings. Anderson won 7-3 in their phase one clash, as well as coming out on top 18-16 in their World Matchplay meeting just over a month ago.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of that close match at the Matchplay, with Smith taking a point off Premier League leader Duzza last night, while he also went the distance with the Asp just three nights ago. Three of the four matches reached a deciding leg last night, and as we approach the final furlongs of this phase, we’d expect very little to separate the players.
Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
Snake Bite has been clinging on to his top four spot over this second phase, as three successive defeats put his playoff position in jeopardy. However, an 8-1 demolition of world number one Michael van Gerwen last night has seen him leapfrog the Dutchman into 4th spot, if only on leg difference.
The Asp picked up a crucial two points himself last night as he held off a late comeback from Gerwyn Price to win 8-6 and move him up to third in the table. These are two extremely good players at the top of their game at the moment, so it’s difficult to see why the market is so one sided. The head to heads are very balanced at 4-3 in favour of the Englishman Aspinall, and with both coming off the back of victories, we’re struggling to see how the Asp is so long and he definitely holds some serious value.
Glen Durrant v Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen finds himself in the unfamiliar position of being outside the playoffs with just three matches remaining in the Premier League. He’s lost four of his last six matches which is not the kind of record we’re used to seeing from Mighty Mike, and he’ll now face Premier League leader Duzza to try and get back into the qualifying places.
Durrant has been relentless so far and can relax in the knowledge that he’ll be taking part in the semi-finals, though he’ll want to cement his place at the top of the standings to give himself a (theoretically) easier draw. He’s unbeaten since the return of the Premier League, which included a 7-3 win over the world number one in the first phase. He’s now won all three meetings with van Gerwen, and that will definitely play on his opponents mind, especially off the back of a 8-1 defeat last night.
While being the underdog still, Duzza looks too short to get behind in the knowledge of van Gerwen’s quality, and we feel that with the Dutchman the one with a lot more to play for he can really turn the screw and get back to winning ways tonight at a pretty hefty price for his standards.