Gary Anderson v Jonny Clayton
After winning nine of 10 encounters with Jonny Clayton between 2015 and 2020, the three most recent meetings have all seen Gary Anderson come out second best, with the former producing convincing 7-4, 8-1 and 6-4 victories. Anderson also arrives amid some poor form in recent appearances, losing seven of his last eight matchups – including the last five on the spin. The Scot currently props up the Premier League Darts table with just two points to his name, and will need to raise his game if he wants to avoid a fifth consecutive quarter-final exit already.
Jonny Clayton is still in with a chance of holding onto his maiden Premier League Darts crown, though the odds are certainly staked against him from overtaking both Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen. However, he should be able to capitalize in this quarter-final with the underperforming Anderson, even if he’s unlikely to dominate to quite such the same extent as in recent head-to-heads.
JONNY CLAYTON TO WIN
Michael Smith v James Wade
Michael Smith held off a spirited James Wade fightback to reach a second World Championship final in January, but once again came up short, just as he did against Michael van Gerwen in 2019. Still, he heads into this matchup as the firm favourite, with his opponent failing to make a lasting impression in this season’s Premier League Darts, enduring two quarter-final defeats and a pair of semi-final disappointments.
“Bully Boy” has hardly been at his best so far either, with only Gary Anderson below him in the table, though following a difficult start he did reach the final on night five, where he was pitted against serial winner Michael van Gerwen. He also reached the UK Open final earlier this month and with his form improving, should have enough about him to see off Wade, who has the lowest average scoring of 93.23 in the 2022 Premier League Darts so far.
MICHAEL SMITH TO WIN
Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price
Gerwyn Price had to pull out of night five with a hand injury and although he’ll return here, it remains to be seen if he’ll be suffering any side effects. He could have done with an easier opponent than Michael van Gerwen in the quarters, with “The Iceman” claiming back-to-back victories in Premier League weeks under his belt. Indeed, van Gerwen finished the season either as winner or runner-up for seven years on the trot between 2013 and 2019, while he’s moved up to world number three following his most recent success in the German Darts Championship.
The Iceman leads the table and is the only one to breach the 100 barrier for average scoring this term. Price has only fallen just short of that threshold, but with a question mark surrounding his performance levels back from injury, it’s hard to go against an in-form van Gerwen. Price does hold a good recent record against the Dutchman, winning four of the last six meetings, though prior to that van Gerwen was by far the dominant force in the head-to-heads.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN TO WIN
Joe Cullen v Peter Wright
Peter Wright was forced to withdraw from the German Darts Championship ahead of the quarter-final stage on Monday, with a back complaint preventing him from taking on Michael van Gerwen. He may have only reached the last 16 of the UK Open earlier this month, but it was enough to move him ahead of Gerwyn Price to land the world number one spot, making him at 52 the oldest player to achieve that rank for the first time.
The Scot won his second World Championship in January to help secure that position and historically, he holds a good record when up against his opponent here. Joe Cullen has lost 17 of the last 20 such clashes, including eight of nine since July 2019, with the last four ending 7-1, 7-2, 11-5 and 10-6 in “Snakebite’s” favour.
PETER WRIGHT -1.5 HANDICAP
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