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Friday, 18 January, 2019

World champ Rob Cross could be in trouble

Gary Anderson has his number

Rob Cross cuddles the William Hill World Darts Championship trophy
1 of 1

Week Five
Sky Sports Action, 7pm Thursday 

Gary Anderson v Rob Cross
Head-to-head: Anderson leads 3-0

The West Country takes centre stage on the darting calendar over the next few days and that will please Scottish exile Gary Anderson, who can kick off night five of the Premier League by bringing down world champion Rob Cross.

Somerset-based Anderson will be a ‘home’ favourite at the UK Open in Minehead which starts on Friday, but first up it’s the short hop down to Exeter where he needs points.

Just one win from his first four matches means Anderson has some catching-up to do but over the last couple of weeks he has averaged the best part of 108 against Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright.

His troublesome back may become an issue over the course of a busy weekend, but over 12 legs he looks fine and is in irresistible form.

Cross beat anybody who’s anybody during his meteoric rise in 2017 – except Anderson, who has won all three of their previous bouts.

G Anderson
2pts 31-21 188Bet

Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
Wright leads 11-7

Daryl Gurney is this year’s Chizzy – a huge scorer but inconsistent on the doubles, and it’s costing him.

Nobody has hit more maximums than Superchin – 17 so far – but a 28 per cent checkout rate – the lowest of all ten players – is why he’s in the bottom two.

Presuming he keeps his superchin up you get the sense he’s playing well enough to trouble anyone, and that would include rock-steady Peter Wright.

Gurney has won the last four meetings between the two and, with the darts, he’s been starting fast. He was 6-3 up against Raymond van Barneveld and 5-1 up against Gerwyn Price, but finished up drawing both.

Given that he’s got the arrers again, take him to be the first player to get to three legs.

D Gurney first to three legs
1pt 11-10 Coral, Ladbrokes

Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen
Van Gerwen leads 8-4

The two men who top the averages should lay on a high-scoring belter at the Westpoint Arena.

Mensur Suljovic will be confident after picking up his first win of his debut campaign while Van Gerwen has looked electric over the last two weeks.

However, his average is in for 103.5 and he’s only hit that in one of four weeks. Suljovic can frustrate anyone, including the Dutchman, who may not reach his usual dizzy heights.

M van Gerwen under 103.5 average
2pts 5-6 Betfair, Betway, Paddy Power

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith
Van Barneveld leads 7-5

There’s something in the Devon air that seems to disagree with Barney, whose last three visits to Exeter all ended in defeats. One of those was against Michael Smith.

Smith, of course, is the 100 per cent man yet he still isn’t playing at his best. Barney, on the other hand, has looked poor over the last two weeks and needs to show some focus, especially when Bully Boy is hitting him hard with the big scores.

The bookmakers can’t split them, and Smith backers must be concerned that their man is averaging little more than 92 after four weeks.

The five-time world champ knows he needs to start producing so take the Dutchman to clear a 96.5 average, something he should ordinarily do with ease.

R van Barneveld over 96.5 average
2pts 5-6 Betfair, Paddy Power

Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price
Tied at 3-3

Simon Whitlock lost for the first time last week but can return to winning ways against off-colour Gerwyn Price.

The Welshman chucks some fine tungsten in patches but those patches are too short for him to offer much of a threat.

The Wizard’s finishing is ace – 46 per cent checkouts is second only behind Mighty Mike – and that gives him a huge edge.

S Whitlock
1pt 6-5 BetBright, Betfair

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Cross beat anybody who’s anybody during his meteoric rise in 2017 – except Anderson, who has won all three of their previous bouts
E.W. Terms
Sky bet