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Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
It’s been nothing short of an abysmal season for Gary Anderson who, having won night six, has now lost six successive Premier League matches and will be out of the playoffs for this season and is showing no signs of finding a victory any time soon.
His compatriot Peter Wright will be relieved that, having lost to Johnny Clayton on the night 12 opener, Joe Cullen proceeded to lose to Gerwyn Price, and therefore failing to close the gap to Wright in fourth. That gap remains at five point, and a victory on night 13 for Wright would go a long way to sealing that final play-off spot.
While it’s up in the air whether or not he can win three on the bounce, considering he hasn’t managed to achieve the feat for over a month now, Snake Bite should come up trumps here. Although he’s lost seven of his last eight matches, it’s not as though Anderson is throwing the kind of darts to take advantage of the blip, while only Clayton and van Gerwen have a higher average than Wright this season, with only Cullen having a lower one than Anderson.
PETER WRIGHT TO WIN
Johnny Clayton v James Wade
Both of these players will be pretty confident that their play-off place is secured, with 10 points separating Wade and 14 separating Clayton from fifth at the moment. In a repeat of last week’s final, it’s hard to split them with Clayton agonisingly missing out and Wade ready to take full advantage.
Wade was in sparkling form in Dublin last week, twice edging out his opponent in a decider and that nerve will serve him well for the rest of this campaign.
He’s been throwing tremendous darts for the last few weeks now, culminating in his highest televised career average of 144.73 against Price last week. The Englishman has won eight of his last 10 outings, with both defeats coming to Michael van Gerwen which can be forgiven.
Clayton is making a storming defence of his Premier League crown and sits four points clear at the top of the table. He’s constantly producing big averages and is one of the hardest players to beat on the circuit at this moment in time.
Ultimately this clash will come down to fine margins, and an overs bet on the legs looks to be the way to go.
OVER 10.5 MATCH LEGS
Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
Both competitors in this matchup were knocked out of the semi-finals in last week's round of Premier League Darts. Price lost to the eventual winner James Wade by a scoreline of 6-1 which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the poor form that the Iceman has shown this year.
Bully Boy has struggled this year with him only winning a third of his games so far, and unless he can muster up something magical over the remaining nights, it looks as though his Premier League season is over. Smith sits three points below Price in the table and will be looking to make up some ground before the end of week 16, though ultimately it looks too little too late.
Michael Smith has hit more 180s than his opponents in half of his eighteen matches (which is the most out of any player in the competition), whereas the Welshman has only managed to hit more 180s in six of his seventeen matches (35%).
Their average number of 180s is also vastly different with Smith recording 2.78 180s per game (3rd highest in the league) and the Iceman has the second-lowest tally of 1.94.
SMITH MOST 180s
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen
Following Michael van Gerwen's disappointment from last week when he got knocked out in the first round to James Wade. He will be looking to get back to winning ways as he faces off against Joe Cullen who currently sits in the bottom half of the table, so there’s a lot to play for in this one.
Joe Cullen was also not able to make it out of the first round after suffering a defeat to Gerwyn Price 6-3 scoreline last week. The RockStar failed to get going in that matchup and with a three-dart average of 81.02 (lowest in all the matches) he was never going to win the game.
This is MVG’s game to lose, he is currently ten points ahead of the Englishman and is the clear favourite to win this match. The Dutchman has a record of W2-L1 when facing Joe Cullen in the PL Darts this year and will be looking to make it three wins here.
There has been a strange pattern emerging form MVG’s games this year; where if he loses in the first round in one week, he makes it to the final the next week. This alternating pattern of him reaching the finals and then getting knocked out in the first round has gone back to Week 5 when he made back-to-back finals appearances. Can we expect MVG to make it to the finals after his first-round exit last week? The record suggests so.
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