The 2019 Premier League of darts reaches a crescendo this Thursday night with Finals night at the O2.
Four-time winner Michael van Gerwen, of course, starts as the red hot favourite and is undefeated in finals nights dating back to 2015.
Challengers Gurney, Cross and Wade, however, are all out to stop the imperious Dutchman.
Michael van Gerwen
He’s not beaten him in three TV games…
Van Gerwen is looking for revenge against Daryl Gurney
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 20 May 2019
The world number one and reigning world champion will be hard to stop. He was won the last three Premier Leagues and topped the league phase of this competition for the seventh consecutive year.
He does, however, have two notable blips on his record in the Premier League…and both of them came at the hands of his Northern Irish opponent Daryl Gurney who he takes on at the O2. Another loss was courtesy of another semi-finalist James Wade.
Van Gerwen has eight titles to his name in 2019, including the World Championship at Ally Pally, but the recent Players Championship event in Barnsley may well give him cause for concern.
Glenn Durrant emphatically got the better of him in the semi-finals this past Saturday and then Rob Thornton produced an amazing performance in the last 32 to get the better of him.
Daryl Gurney could become the first player in @unibet Premier League history to lift the title in his first Play-Off appearance outside of debut season.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 21 May 2019
After just missing out last year, Players Championship winner Gurney lines up for his Finals Night debut.
His recent streak of three straight wins over van Gerwen was only ended recently on the European Tour in Austria.
Gurney does have one title to his name in 2019, namely the German Darts Championship, with a further two semi-finals and a quarterfinal appearance to boot.
⚡ Voltage to seal top spot
🦸🏻♂ Gurney to sneak into the top four?
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 16 May 2019
Rileys perennial favourite Rob Cross topped the table of the Premier League for most of the season and faces off against James Wade on Finals night.
The former electrician has been in some great form this year but is yet to pick up a title. Finishing runner-up of the UK Open remains his best run of the year.
He generally shares the spoils against James Wade. They are 6 apiece on the head to heads and also won and lost one apiece in the Premier League campaign. Cross lost at this stage this time last year.
— Darts News (@DartsNews5) 16 May 2019
The Machine won this title ten years ago as a spritely 26-year-old, becoming the first player to win the title that wasn’t Phil Taylor.
After a tough few years, Wade has enjoyed a renaissance in his career of late and is in the Premier League by virtue of his Euro and World Series wins.
He has two titles to his name in 2019, after a solid weekend on the floor last month in Barnsley in the Players Championship.
It is the first time he has reached the Finals night since 2013, and he hasn’t enjoyed a win at this stage of the competition since 2010 when he was runner-up to Phil Taylor.
What the experts say
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 20 May 2019
Van Gerwen is 1/2 on to retain his Premier League crown and win his fourth campaign in a row. Cross is at 4/1, with Wade at 7/1 and Gurney at 11/1. The good value may well be found in Gurney winning his semi-final at 7/2.
How do we think it will go
— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) 16 May 2019
Much hinges on the result of Van Gerwen and Gurney of course. If the Dutchman comes through that challenge it’s hard to see how he can be stopped. The world champ has won his last 4 games against Cross and he has only lost to Wade twice in their last 19 matches.
When and where is it on
You can catch all the action on Sky in Rileys Sports Bars from 7 pm. Why not book aboard and play while you watch!