Jonny Clayton v Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson can’t seem to buy a win at the moment with just three in his last 10 outings, all coming at the floor championships showing just how much he’s struggled in this Premier League campaign. He currently sits bottom of the table with four wins, and that’s exceptionally poor considering three came on one evening.
Jonny Clayton failed to go top of the table last week, though a first round victory over Michael van Gerwen means he at least narrowed the gap between himself and the Dutchman to just a single point. An exceptional 109.1 average in that clash saw the Welshman take the spoils, while he also tonned up in defeat to Joe Cullen in the next round, so his underlying stats are very promising.
There seems little hope for Anderson on current form, while Clayton also has a lot more to play for as he looks to solidify his spot in the playoffs in a few weeks’ time. The Ferret has won three of his last four meetings with Anderson, and we’d expect him to improve on that here.
JONNY CLAYTON TO WIN
Peter Wright v Joe Cullen
This could be a crucial matchup with Joe Cullen sitting just three points behind Peter Wright in that coveted fourth spot. A win for the Englishman could see him leapfrog the Scot, depending on how subsequent results go, though defeat would leave a massive uphill battle.
Cullen reached the final last week where he narrowly lost out to James Wade, though a final run boosted his chances of making the top four. He’s failed to build up any kind of momentum this season though and after a flying run in February, it’s been a bit hit and miss for the Rockstar since.
Peter Wright comes into this off the back of four successive defeats, and he’s at risk of slipping out of the top four altogether. He’s been plodding along though in this campaign, with last week’s first round defeat the first time in five nights that he’s failed to reach the semis. With the result very much up in the air for this one, the over 180s market looks appealing. These are two of the top three 180s hitters this season (Cullen 1st, Wright 3rd) with 109 between them already, and while form hasn’t been exceptional for either, they continue to hit maximums and that’s the way to go for this one.
OVER 5.5 MATCH 180s
James Wade v Michael Smith
Wade’s first night win of the season last week catapulted him into third in the table and after what has, for the most part, been a largely underwhelming season so far, he now has a good foundation for holding onto the top four. That night 10 win means Wade has now won 10 of his last 14 matches across all formats, and in the Premier League alone his reached three successive finals, so he’s certainly the inform player at this moment in time.
That Wade victory last week means Michael Smith is the only player yet to win a night so far, and he’s going to need something very special to make up the 10 point gap to the top four. Unfortunately for Bully Boy, he’s not showing the kind of form that’s going to get him there with five successive Premier League defeats in a row now. He’s lost three of his last four in all coms now, with his only victory coming at the European Tour against world number 85 Berry von Peer, which doesn’t bode well, and ultimately Wade seems to be the better bet all things considered to take his 16th win in just 20 head-to-heads with Smith.
JAMES WADE TO WIN
Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price
The headline clash of the night sees top of the table van Gerwen take on a dangerous Price, yet to stamp his mark on this Premier League campaign. The Welshman sits seven points outside the top four and is looking once again unlikely to live up to expectation in this competition. He’s lost five of his last six Premier League outings, and anything other than a final run on this night would leave him with almost too much to do in the final few events.
Michael van Gerwen is not the first round opponent you want, though he did lose first up to Jonny Clayton just last week. He followed that up with a run to the European Tour semis, though a convincing 7-0 thrashing to Luke Humphries at that semi stage isn’t what he would have wanted heading into this night.
While van Gerwen has had the more impressive campaign, Price tends to come alive against the Dutchman. Indeed, The Iceman has won four of the last five encounters between the two, including both Premier League meetings so far this season, and on that basis there’s enough to get behind the Welshman as the underdog.
GERWYN PRICE TO WIN
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