Well here we are at the Final night of the PDC Premier League. It’s taken 16 weeks of gruelling matches to be down to the final four.
Any of the four could conceivably win the title this year. Case in point Daryl Gurney has beaten MVG twice in the Premier League, Wade has beaten MVG, Wade has whitewashed Gurney, and Rob Cross has been really consistent throughout only just beaten into second place in the final league standings….
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Dutch Superstar Michael van Gerwen is the defending champion and has taken Phil Taylor’s crown as the one to beat in the Premier League. He is so consistent over the 16 weeks usually – but this year has had some losses – twice against Gurney and Wade give him a trouncing also. He is usually a big game player and he rarely loses in a semi final. However he has to be thinking of Gurney more than Gurney is thinking of him on this occasion.
Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney has an up and down league campaign and only just sneaked into the final position at the end beating Price and Suljovic for the coveted 4th place. The reward for qualifying 4th is the semi final opponent of MVG! but he will hope against MVG that it will be three times a charm and that he can produce a hat-trick of wins against the Green Machine and make the final.
PDC Pundit Wayne Mardle said during the week:
‘I think this is more of a talking point – the fact that Daryl Gurney beat Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Players Championship, in what is a very, very similar format to what they’re going to play in the semi-finals,’ said Mardle to Sky Sports.
‘Daryl Gurney knows that he’s got the game. Michael van Gerwen knows that Daryl Gurney has got the game to beat him as well, and that’s the key. He’s beaten him on three of the last four occasions.’
‘Michael won the last one which was a European Tour event, but Daryl Gurney knows, on the big stage, he’s beaten him three times on the bounce. That’s incredible because we know on his day, Michael van Gerwen is untouchable.’
‘Gurney somehow makes him panic. I think Daryl has a calm nature to him and he always tries to play within himself and that can unsettle your opponents.’
Rob Cross v James Wade
In the other side of the draw you have Rob Cross versus James Wade. This will be a great match up. Both capable of beating each other and I can’t call it between the two. Wade is just so good at finishing and Rob is such a big consistent scorer. If Wade gets his finishing head on, then I could see him edge it – but who knows.
’Voltage’ though has been brilliant throughout this season so far – I’d day the most consistent; he will be hoping to continue that starting with against Wade in the semi final.
James Wade has had a good league campaign and has merited his place back in the Premier League. An inclusion that some fans disagreed with, ‘The Machine’ has been one of the most in-form players in all the darts tournaments of late. The last 8 months has seen him drag himself back up into the top ten where he most definitely should be with wins at the Pro Tour and European Championship among others.
He faces a tough test in Cross but one he overcame last week relatively easy and with his current form and past winning experience Wade will be a big danger.