Rob Cross can seal his place in the semi-finals with victory over Michael Smith in Manchester this week. Smith has been disappointing so far and will be eliminated unless he wins. It looks beyond him.
Peter Wright also faces an early exit, and Austrian Mensur Suljovic should be the latest to gain two easy points from Snakebite.
The match of the night is the closing game. James Wade faces Gerwyn Price with both players currently in the top four. It’s a tight table though and the loser is likely to be out of the play-off places at the end of the night.
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2019 Unibet Premier League Darts Week Thirteen Match Previews
Rob Cross v Michael Smith
Tip– Rob Cross -2.5 legs to beat Michael Smith 137/1002.37+1371.371.37-0.73
Voltage has had an excellent campaign, and it looks certain that he will be with us on finals night at the O2. He has averaged 100+ in eight of his thirteen games so far, a superb standard.
He has been slightly below par in the last two weeks. A 2-8 defeat to MVG in Cardiff was followed by a draw against Gerwyn Price in Birmingham. The Iceman was the better player in the latter encounter and Cross was fortunate to get the point.
Bully Boy has shown improved form over the last month without being able to gain any wins. He has no chance of reaching the playoffs but appears to still be putting the effort in so is a dangerous opponent.
Cross has a surprising 11-3 head-to-head against Smith and will clearly be the more incentivised player. He should gain another victory and throwing first means an early break would enable him to cover a 2.5 leg handicap.
Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic
Tip– Mensur Suljovic to beat Peter Wright 1/12.00+1001.001.00-1.00
Snakebite has had a disastrous year both in this event and in the weekend tournaments. He still only has two victories to his name after 13 games and is effectively eliminated already. Continuous tinkering with his choice of darts hasn’t helped at all, and he doesn’t seem to be putting much effort into his matches.
Mensur has five wins and a draw in his last eight games but has been putting in poor averages. He disappointed us in Birmingham last week when failing to put away Michael Smith. With Rob Cross and MVG still to play in his final two games, this week is his last opportunity for an easy two points. It’s a chance he should be able to take.
Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen
Superchin has been very inconsistent but is just about hanging on in the race for playoff spots. As expected he took care of the out-of-form Peter Wright in Birmingham. He defeated MVG in Berlin in Week Seven, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to repeat the trick.
After some poor performances in phase one, the Green Machine has burst back into form with a series of 106+ averages. This was only good enough to get a draw against James Wade last week in a high-class encounter. MVG did show his fighting qualities there, winning the final two legs in 12&13 darts to get the draw. He also picked up a nice £25K pot over the weekend with victory in the German Darts Open, so is clearly in a rich vein of form.
He’ll be looking to avenge a surprise loss to Gurney in their first meeting, and he is hard to oppose on current form.
James Wade v Gerwyn Price
Price has proved his doubters wrong so far. He is currently in fourth place and has a realistic chance of making the playoffs. He perhaps should be in an even better position as he let slip the chance of a big victory over Rob Cross in Birmingham last week. The Iceman had to settle for a draw in a game in which he was the superior player. He missed four darts at double to win and was visibly angry with himself. Thankfully he doesn’t seem the type to let such setbacks prey on his mind.
Wade has had a fine season and is currently in third place in the table. He put a couple of middling performances behind him last Thursday in an enjoyable encounter with Michael van Gerwen. The Machine arguably deserved more than a 7-7 draw, and MVG needed to finish in 12&13 darts in the final two legs to deny him.
This looks a potential cracker which could have huge implications for the playoff places.
2019 Unibet Premier League Darts Week Thirteen Tips
Mensur Suljovic to beat Peter Wright 1/12.00+1001.001.00-1.00
Rob Cross -2.5 legs to beat Michael Smith 137/1002.37+1371.371.37-0.73
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