HUGE UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE NIGHT AHEAD IN SHEFFIELD
PLACES in the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs are on the line when the tournament visits The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield on Thursday for a pivotal Night 15.
With just two league nights remaining before the Play-Offs in London on Thursday, May 23, six of the eight players can still secure places in the top four.
2018 World Champion Rob Cross currently sits at the top of the league table and is crucially four points clear of fifth-placed Daryl Gurney with two games to play.
Cross knows that a draw against fourth-placed Mensur Suljovic in Sheffield would ensure his semi-final spot, while a win keeps him on course to become only the third player in Premier League history to top the regular season table, after Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.
“We all dream about winning the Premier League,” said Cross, an impressive 8-1 winner against Michael Smith last week. “We all set our stall out to qualify and we worry about positions afterwards.
“It’s my second attempt and it looks like I’m going to qualify for the second time. We’ve got two matches left and I want the best run-in that I can have.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re playing well and that you’re confident. I think it’s important that I have a good run-in now to try and get to The O2 and feel positive and know that I’m playing well.
“I’ll just try and try and perform to the best of my capabilities. I think I’ve done well this year – I’m a lot more settled than last year and I feel fresher.”
Van Gerwen sits a point behind Cross following last week’s defeat to Daryl Gurney in Manchester, with the Dutchman taking on Peter Wright on Thursday in a repeat of the 2017 Premier League final.
The Dutchman won the Austrian Darts Open over the weekend – defeating Wright 6-5 in the quarter-finals – and is aiming to bounce back on the Premier League stage in style.
“I made too many mistakes last week against Daryl but I played well at the weekend and I want to keep that going now,” said World Champion Van Gerwen.
“I need to make sure I play well because Peter has nothing to lose now and he will be dangerous. I want to put in a good performance to make sure that I’m going into the Play-Offs in good form.”
Third-placed James Wade takes on Michael Smith, who also cannot qualify, and the 2009 Premier League winner is aiming to secure his place in the Play-Offs for the first time since 2013.
“I just want to be in the top four,” said Wade. “We’ve got a few more games left and I’m playing with the best players in the world but I’ll take anyone on.
“I’ve only brushed upon the edges of my abilities – I think I can do better.”
A huge match-up in Sheffield sees Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price – who sit in fifth and sixth place respectively – clash in a game which could end one of the pair’s Play-Off hopes.
Gurney has never previously beaten Price on TV in four previous meetings and admitted: “It’s a big match.
“Gerwyn’s played me a lot on TV now and I can’t remember the last time I beat him.
“Hopefully I can get a result against him and keep myself in the running. I’m taking one game at a time and if I can get something out of it, hopefully, I can qualify for The O2.”
Tickets for Thursday’s Unibet Premier League at The FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield are still available and can be purchased by calling 0114 256 5656 or online at www.flydsaarena.co.uk.
The event will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix from 1900, worldwide through the PDC’s international broadcast partners and at video.pdc.tv for PDCTV-HD Rest of the World Subscribers.
Following Thursday’s event, the final league night of the Unibet Premier League season will take place at The First Direct Arena in Leeds on Thursday, May 16. For tickets, call 0844 248 1585 or visit ticketmaster.co.uk.
2019 Unibet Premier League
Night 15 – Thursday, May 9
The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Michael Smith v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright