Cross insists he must avoid another “spanking” at the hands of Van Gerwen

Van Gerwen has won all four of their previous Premier League meetings (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Rampant Rob Cross admits he cannot afford another “spanking” as he looks to prove he is a genuine rival to Michael van Gerwen.

The two most recent World Champions go head-to-head in a mouth-watering top of the table clash in the Unibet Premier League in Cardiff on Thursday.

Cross produced arguably his worst performance of the season so far against MVG in Dublin in February, averaging just 93 in a 7-2 defeat.

The world number two has lost all four of their previous Premier League meetings and admits he cannot afford another below-par showing against the sport's dominant force.

"I don't know what happened in Dublin - I was rubbish," Cross told Live Darts. 

"I just didn't turn up and you can’t afford to do that.

"I got a spanking and it could have been a lot worse than 7-2. To be quite honest, I've had two matches where I have felt flat and I lost them both.

"I actually don't know why that has happened but it's not acceptable. I guess we all have bad days but I need to still get results on my bad days.

"I felt shocking last week after tonsillitis, I'd only had six hours sleep but I still managed to get the win.

"There is no doubt that Michael will be fired-up to go back top of the league. I think he's finished top for the last six years or something, that's some record.

"I'll go up there and do my thing. I feel like I’m getting close to the Rob Cross that won the Worlds 15 months ago, that included beating Michael in the Semi-Final.

"This will be a good yardstick to see how I'm doing now."

Cross has enjoyed a superb spell in this year's Premier League, winning seven of his last eight games, and a further two points here would see him match last season's tally of 19 with four matches remaining. 

The Hastings ace, however, is adamant that he has extra gears to go through as he bids to end MVG's stranglehold on top spot.

He added: "I'm doing OK. I'm not happy with the blips I've had. But I know I've got two more gears, it's just finding them that's the key.

"Funny enough I felt this a couple of months before the Worlds, and it just suddenly happened. I'm in a good place. I've got nothing to prove.

"I think Michael will come into this wanting to prove everything. I'm relaxed and fresh. I want to win but it would be more important to win on finals night."


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Cross insists he must avoid another “spanking” at the hands of Van Gerwen

Rampant Rob Cross admits he cannot afford another “spanking” as he looks to prove he is a genuine rival to Michael van Gerwen.

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