World champion Rob Cross ready to bully Smith again
Daryl Gurney could upset Van Barneveld
Sky Sports Action, 7pm Thursday
Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney
Head-to-head: Barney leads 3-1
New dad Daryl Gurney faced the mother and father of all battles just to make it into the final eight of the Premier League, but having made it to this stage of the tournament he can now set to work on trying to make the playoffs.
Winless for six weeks Gurney finished strongly and after learning the Premier League ropes he’s in the sort of form that warrants a bet against the inconsistent Barney in Sheffield.
It was 6-6 when they met in Week One but it was a contest Superchin should have won. He hit five 180s building up a 6-3 lead and then missed three match darts to allow the Dutchman in.
Now, however, Gurney is hitting his doubles and that makes him dangerous against a player who got whitewashed by Michael Smith last Thursday.
1pt 11-8 Betfair, Boyles, Hills
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
H2H: Anderson leads 24-13
It would be easy to write off Snakebite given that he scraped into the final eight only last week and has managed a solitary win.
But he’s been playing well away from the Premier League, reaching three finals in the last six weeks.
But Gary Anderson is also blowing hot and cold. They drew 6-6 when they first met – one of four stalemates for Wright – and this could well go all the way again.
Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen
H2H: Van Gerwen leads 30-5
Michael van Gerwen has already beaten Simon Whitlock twice this year, making it 11 straight wins against the Aussie.
The Wizard is playing as well as ever – he reached a Players Championship semi-final on Sunday – but still looks held against the world number one.
Whitlock’s scoring power should ensure he stays in the match, however, and a defeat by two or three legs looks on the cards.
M van Gerwen to win 7-4 or 7-5
1pt 11-4 Betfred
Michael Smith v Rob Cross
H2H: Cross leads 6-1
This could be the game of the night between two players who produced an epic second-round tie at the World Championship in December.
Cross won that 4-3 on his way to the title and now boasts a 6-1 head-to-head record against Bully Boy, who he beat on Night Five.
Smith heads to Yorkshire in fine fettle after whitewashing Barney and then winning a Players Championship heat on Saturday. But Cross has won six of his last seven in this competition, is piling up the ton-plus averages and is very hard to dislike.
1pt Evens Hills
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
H2H: Barney leads 11-8
Over the next four weeks of the regular season two players have to play twice, that honour falling to Barney and Snakebite first up.
It would be wise to see how each man performs earlier as Snakebite seeks to avenge an extraordinary 7-1 drubbing at the Dutchman’s hands three weeks ago.
But here’s a quirky stat. Since Judgement Night was introduced in 2013, Barney has picked up five wins and a draw in his second match of the evening on the occasions when he has played twice, while Wright has managed just two losses and a draw.
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