Watch Premier League Darts live on Daily Week Sports Action from 7pm on Thursday
Last Updated: 26/02/20 12:00am
Premier League Darts is back on our screens this Thursday night, live on Daily Week Sports Action. William O’Connor is in action against world No 1 Michael van Gerwen. Wayne Mardle looks into his crystal ball…
Republic of Ireland’s World Cup runner-up O’Connor stars as a Challenger against Van Gerwen, while table-topper Glen Durrant meets Nathan Aspinall in the battle of the newcomers.
Rob Cross takes on Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney faces Michael Smith, while Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright also clash on a bumper night of darts on the Emerald Isle.
Live Premier League Darts
February 27, 2020, 7:00pm
Wayne runs the rule over five titanic tungsten contests, live on Daily Week Sports Action from 7pm.
Glen Durrant vs Nathan Aspinall
The bookies are still doubtful that Duzza is going to make the Play-Offs. They’re still making him one of the outsiders even though he’s top and unbeaten. I keep saying it week after week that Durrant is the best finisher in the world right now and he proved it again against Gary Anderson last week.
Aspinall took out ‘The Big Fish’ against John Henderson on Night One in Aberdeen
His combination finishes keep working for him. He hit six combination finishes in winning seven legs and if he does that again he’s going to be really difficult to beat.
I still think Aspinall holds the key. He has spells of brilliance like he did last week to defeat Michael van Gerwen. He was superb from start to finish.
I actually think that this will be a draw because they’re both steady types. I think Aspinall has that extra gear, but Duzza is keeping everyone at bay at the moment. They’re two debutants who have acquitted themselves really well so far.
Mardle predicts a riot of a draw in this opening fixture
Wayne’s score prediction: Draw 6-6
Rob Cross vs Gary Anderson
I sound like I’m repeating myself every week but Cross is struggling, he really is. Last week, he was being massively outplayed by Peter Wright and Peter had to break in the last leg to get the win. Cross is hanging on by his fingertips. It looks an effort for him.
Anderson changed his darts last week. I didn’t think he threw them very well at all when he lost to Glen Durrant but I just think he’s playing a bit better than Cross right now.
Gary has made the Play-Offs six out of eight times in his career and I think it’s going to be hard to keep him out this year.
I think Ando is better than Rob Cross right now. It all looks so stressful for Cross. Anderson has won eight out of the nine matches they’ve played as well.
Will the stress levels get to Cross again? Anderson to win
Wayne’s score prediction: Anderson to win 7-5
Daryl Gurney vs Michael Smith
Gurney did the double over Smith last year but Smith is playing better – he really is. Last week he was breathtaking beating Jonny Clayton 7-1.167 and 142 finishes to win it. I just think Gurney is not as consistent as he has been in recent times. He got a point on the board last week against Gerwyn Price and he did well, but I just think Smith will do a job on him.
I think some big things will happen for Smith. It looks like he’s getting back to the being the player that reached the Premier League final a couple of years ago.
The think with Gurney is that his legs difference is still poor so if he does get beat, he’s got to try and limit the scoreline.
Gurney is already two points adrift and we’re into week four. He needs to start winning but I don’t think this is a game he wins.
Gurney is a player struggling at the bottom of the standings
Wayne’s score prediction: Smith to win 7-4
William O’Connor vs Michael van Gerwen
I get why O’Connor was picked. It was either him or Keane Barry, but full credit to Willie, he’s made inroads the last couple of years. The quarter-finals of the Players Championship last year where he lost to Ian White in the quarter-finals. He’s changed his game and he’s been a better player for it. O’Connor is ranked No 37 in the world, but he’s a player on the up.
O’Connor has got the experience of being a World Cup finalist alongside Steve Lennon, but let’s not sugar-coat this, he’s got Michael van Gerwen who is still playing some sublime darts but not winning. He hasn’t won a title since November, which is a massive barren spell for Van Gerwen.
Van Gerwen is not playing at his best but he’s still playing well and I personally think that he will have too much class for O’Connor. The format kind of plays into his hands as well.
Willie has beat Michael three times, but this is a different animal.
Can O’Connor control his emotions against MVG?
Wayne’s score prediction: MVG to win 7-4
Gerwyn Price vs Peter Wright
This is the game of the night. Price beat Wright in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts, while Wright got his revenge in the semi-finals of the World Championship, which catapulted him to victory in the final against MVG.
These two are playing so well. Peter won Players Championship Five on Saturday, while Price won the event on the Sunday, but the final they competed in on Saturday, both averaged 109 and Wright took out 170 to win it. If it’s anything like that then we’re in for a right treat.
I just think these two are feeling so good about their game and they are the ones who right now can push and beat Michael van Gerwen.
Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright look different class to the others with Michael Smith and Gary Anderson not far behind. There is some quality right now.
In a different league?
This will be a fantastic game. It’s really hard to call but I’m going for Wright because of the fact that he’s a tiny bit more clinical on the outer ring.
Wayne’s score prediction: Wright to win 7-4
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts.
Wayne Mardle was speaking to Daily Week Sports’ Raz Mirza. Coverage of the Premier League continues on Thursday, February 27 in Dublin at 7pm on Daily Week Sports Action with William O’Connor taking on Michael van Gerwen. Don’t forget, the Premier League is on every Thursday all the way through until the Play-Offs in London on May 21.