Premier League Darts 2019 Finals preview and order of play: Four four fight for the title

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 22 May 2019
The final four pictured on stage at The O2 (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The 2019 Premier League draws to a fascinating climax on Thursday as the final four battle it out at The O2 Arena for the right to become champion.

After 16 nights of pulsating competition across the UK, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, just four men remain in the running to secure the £250,000 title.

Only five different names have managed to get their hands on the Unibet Premier League trophy since 2005, two of which are in action on Finals Night once again.

The opening Semi-Final sees league winner and reigning champion Michael van Gerwen take on play-off debutant Daryl Gurney in a mouth-watering grudge clash.

Van Gerwen maintained his incredible record of having finished top of the table in all seven Premier League campaigns and is now out to remain unbeaten at the Semi-Final stage of the sport's most prestigious invitational.

The world number one leapfrogged rival Rob Cross in the final week of round-robin action as he matched last year's points tally of 23 to clinch the £25,000 bonus.

However, MVG knows that the job is only half done as he looks to claim glory at The O2 for the fifth time and close in on Phil Taylor's record tally of six.

Van Gerwen sets out on a revenge mission, having suffered successive defeats to Gurney in the league phase, accounting for two of his three defeats in 16 matches.

While the Dutchman did defeat 'Superchin' 7-3 in the Semi-Finals of the recent Austrian Open, he will be determined to avert a fourth straight televised loss to the Northern Irishman by stamping his authority over the extended format.

Gurney is entering uncharted territory after going one better than last year's fifth-place finish, ending the round-robin phase three points better off (19) than his debut haul.

The reigning Players Champion won three and drew one of his last four games to clinch fourth spot, despite having been in the top four in just four of the previous 15 weeks.

Though MVG boasts vast experience of the play-off format, Gurney did defeat the defending champion 11-9 in November's Players Championship Final in Minehead and will be confident of upholding his strong recent head-to-head record.

Second meets third in the other Semi-Final as Rob Cross takes on James Wade for the second time in seven days.

Last week's dress rehearsal saw Wade dash Cross' hopes of finishing top of the table by inflicting an 8-6 defeat in Leeds, and 'Voltage' will be keen to avenge that result and go on to become the latest new name on the trophy.

Cross has enjoyed a superb campaign, upholding a top two spot since Week Five and racking up 22 points, three more than in his debut season 12 months ago.

Though he will be eyeing a collision course with MVG in the final, the world number two can ill-afford to look beyond his first task as he faces a player who knows what it takes to go the distance on finals night.

Wade is bidding for a second Premier League title a decade on from his first and what would be a third televised title since last October.

The reigning European Champion went the final six games of the regular season unbeaten to finish on 20 points and book a first appearance at The O2 since 2013.

The duo are locked level at six apiece in the overall head-to-heads, while Cross has a tournament average of 99.48 to Wade's 97.13, 54 maximums to 44 and a checkout success rate of 44.5% to the left-hander's 43.7%.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Semi-Finals to be contested over the best of 19 legs and the final best of 21 legs.


Unibet Premier League 2019 Schedule


Thursday May 23

Semi-Finals
7.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
8.15pm Rob Cross v James Wade

9.30pm
Final



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Premier League Darts 2019 Finals preview and order of play: Four four fight for the title

The 2019 Premier League draws to a fascinating climax on Thursday as the final four battle it out at The O2 Arena for the right to become champion.

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