Week 5 – Thursday Mar 07, The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen –
The 2019 Premier League season began on Thursday Feb 07th, with 17 nights of top-class action running from February to May. The season includes Judgement night after nine weeks of action, where the bottom two players in the league table will be eliminated and it all comes to a fascinating climax from The O2 in London on Thursday May 23rd.
The players taking part in this year’s Premier League are Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Peter Wright, Rob Cross, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic. Gary Anderson has unfortunately withdrawn from the Premier League as he continues to struggle with a back injury.
The PDC have decided that nine different players will replace Gary Anderson at each of the nine different venues on each of the nine weeks of action.
The replacements are as follows – Chris Dobey (Newcastle, Week 1) – Glen Durrant (Glasgow, Week 2) – Steve Lennon (Dublin, Week 3) – Luke Humphries (Exeter, Week 4) – John Henderson (Aberdeen, Week 5) – Nathan Aspinall (Nottingham, Week 6) – Max Hopp (Berlin, Week 7) – Dimitri van den Bergh (Rotterdam Ahoy, Week 8, Night 1) – Jeffrey de Zwaan (Rotterdam Ahoy, Week 8, Night 2)
Week Four results (Exeter):
Luke Humphries 6-6 Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney 1-7 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 7-4 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 3-7 James Wade
Michael Smith 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Thursday March 07th
(7:15pm) Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Prediction – Michael Smith at 6/4
Both players had a very good weekend in last weekend’s UK Open in Minehead. Michael Smith lost out 11-7 to his opponent here Rob Cross in the semi-finals. Michael who was in unbeatable form in his 10-1 quarter-final victory over Steve Beaton was nowhere near that level in his loss to Cross in the semi-finals. That said, Rob Cross was then equally disappointing in his loss to PDC Major debut winner Nathan Aspinall in last weekend’s final, saying afterwards he had nothing left to give, having played his third game of that day. Michael Smith will be gunning for revenge after that semi-final loss and is fancied to take the win in this match.
(8pm) Daryl Gurney v James Wade
Prediction – James Wade at 7/5
Daryl Gurney and James Wade both had a pretty poor weekend at last week’s UK Open compared to their usual high standards. Both will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in this tournament. Daryl Gurney was emphatically beaten in a 7-1 loss to a very much in-form Rob Cross in Exeter last week, whilst his opponent James Wade inflicted a first Premier League defeat this year to World No.1 Michael van Gerwen with a fantastic 7-3 win. On this basis it is difficult to get away from a James Wade win in this encounter.
(8:40pm) Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price
Prediction – Gerwyn Price at 13/10
Mensur Suljovic lost out to World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh 10-9 in the fifth-round of last week’s UK Open. Gerwyn Price was a narrow 11-9 loser to eventual winner Nathan Aspinall in Minehead. In last Thursday’s league action in Exeter, Mensur was a comfortable 7-4 winner over Peter Wright, while Price was held to a 6-6 draw by contender Luke Humphries. On current form it has to be a win for Gerwyn Price in this one for me.
(9:20pm) Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
Prediction – Peter Wright at 15/20
A very disappointing weekend at the UK Open for both these players was no real surprise to be honest considering their poor recent form. In Exeter last week it was another poor result for Peter who didn’t play well for most of his 7-4 defeat to Mensur Suljovic, whilst Barney led early only to see his game fall apart to a certain extent as he lost out 7-4 to the hobbling Michael Smith. This is almost a must-win for both of these players even at this early stage of the competition and I’m going to go for a big performance from Peter Wright to gain a valuable two league points.
(10pm) Michael van Gerwen v John Henderson
Prediction – Michael van Gerwen at 2/11
Michael van Gerwen suffered a surprise loss to a very much on-form Mervyn King in last weekend’s UK Open, although Mervyn was always going to be pumped-up for that one after Michael branded him a disgrace following a white-wash win in a Players Championship tournament just a few weeks ago. “Big” John Henderson lost out 10-5 to Michael Smith in the fourth round stage in Minehead and comes into this as the contender, although in saying that each contender we’ve seen so far have all been very impressive and Big John will not be phased by any of this league set-up or atmosphere. However, having lost for the first time in this year’s Premier League, MVG will be keen to get straight back to winning ways and should be too good for his opponent in this match.