Machine To Power On

James Wade

James Wade

James Wade can put himself on the brink of a semi-final spot with victory over Michael Smith in Sheffield this week. Smith is already eliminated and is unlikely to trouble Wade.

High-flying Rob Cross may be brought down to earth by Mensur Suljovic. Cross seems to struggle against the unique style of the Austrian.

Daryl Gurney faces the fiery Gerwyn Price in the game of the night. It’s fifth against sixth in a must-win battle. The loser can pack his bags.

Michael van Gerwen concludes proceedings against Peter Wright and will expect to get back to winning ways.

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Week Fourteen – FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Thursday 9th May Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Mix

Michael Smith v James Wade

Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

2019 Unibet Premier League Darts Week Fourteen Match Previews

Michael Smith v James Wade

Tip – James Wade to win +110

The Machine has had a fine season and is currently in third place in the table. He also has the advantage of a superior leg difference to his close competitors. After a couple of middling performances, he seems to be finishing strongly. He was in an enjoyable 7-7 draw with MVG in Birmingham, a game he arguably deserved to win. He then won a fiery contest with Gerwyn Price in Manchester last week to maintain his advantage over that play-off rival.

Bully Boy has shown glimpses of form over the last month but has gained no wins. He appeared to give up quite early against Rob Cross last week, losing 1-8. A first-round loss to Steve Beaton in the Austrian Open at the weekend indicates a player in need of a break.

Wade should ease to another win here which would move him very close to a play-off spot.

Mensur Suljovic

Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross

Tip – Mensur Suljovic to win +240

Voltage has had an excellent campaign, and only needs a draw in his final two games to nail a play-off spot. He has averaged over 100 in nine of his fourteen games so far, a superb standard. He dismissed Michael Smith with ease last week, doing us a favour by winning on the handicap as well.

One of his few bad performances was against Suljovic back in Week Eight in Berlin when he let a 5-1 lead slip, eventually losing 5-7. Like many players, he seems to have a problem with the big Austrian.

Mensur has six wins and a draw in his last nine games but has been putting in poor averages. He gave us a scare in Manchester last week, only just getting over the line against the dismal Peter Wright. It continued a trend of just doing the minimum.

There is little doubt that Cross is the better player, but I don’t think we can ignore that they are tied 6-6 in career meetings. Even more startling is that Mensur has won five of the last six. At such a big price, he must be the bet.

Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price

Superchin has been very inconsistent but is just about hanging on in the race for play-off spots. He surprised everyone by completing the double over Michael van Gerwen last week. He raced into an early lead and showed plenty of bottle to hold off the MVG fightback.

The Iceman has had a bad two weeks and his play-off prospects are at risk of disappearing. He let slip the chance of a crucial victory over Rob Cross in Birmingham two weeks ago, missing four darts at double to win. He had to settle for a draw and was visibly angry with himself. Worse followed in Manchester last week. He seemed agitated from the start of his encounter with James Wade. He was more interested in glaring at his opponent than playing darts and suffered a heavy defeat. With his poor leg difference, it looks like his race may be over. 

This game looks like a knockout tie, with the loser likely to be eliminated. Gurney seems the more plausible winner but has a poor head to head record against the Welshman. I don’t think he is worth backing at a short price.

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright

It has been a strange few weeks for Michael van Gerwen. On the Premier League stage, he has suffered a few setbacks. Defeat to Daryl Gurney in Manchester last week has seen him slip to second place. Suddenly there is a real chance of him not winning the league phase.

Outside the Premier League, everything seems far rosier for the Dutchman. He has recently won a trio of £25K events with the minimum of fuss. Last weekend he added the Austrian Open to two similar victories in Germany at the end of April.

There is no obvious reason why he hasn’t been able to translate this good form to the Premier League. He should bank an easy two points this week against weak opposition.

I’m almost getting bored writing about how terrible Snakebite has been in the Premier League. He has shown little spirit since it became apparent a month ago that he wasn’t going to make the Top Four. He may put in more of an effort against MVG, but another heavy defeat looks the most likely outcome.

2019 Unibet Premier League Darts Week Fourteen Tips

James Wade to beat Michael Smith +110

Mensur Suljovic to bear Rob Cross +240

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