Premier League Darts 2019 Night 11 preview and order of play: Top two vie for the lead in Liverpool

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 11 Apr 2019
World finalists MVG and Smith collide (credit:Steve Welsh/PDC)

The 2019 Premier League road-show lands in Liverpool on Thursday as the battle for top spot and play-off places takes another twist.

One of the most closely-matched fields in the 15-year history of the tournament sees five players separated by just three points and the race to win the league phase far from a foregone conclusion.

Just five weeks of action remain before the cut-off for Finals Night at The O2, and all remaining hopefuls will feel they have what it takes to make the cut.

Rob Cross leads the way heading in to Week 11 as he bids to end Michael van Gerwen's six-year stranglehold on top spot, and 'Voltage' will be eyeing a third straight win when he comes up against a struggling Peter Wright.

Cross tops the pile by a single point, having won six of his last seven games and will look to maintain that stance ahead of his show-down with MVG in Cardiff next week.

Cross, who boasts a tournament average of 100.3, was held to a 6-6 draw by Wright in their opening fixture on Night One, but recently defeated the Scot 7-5 in the Semi-Finals of the European Open.

Wright recovered from back-to-back defeats in Rotterdam by holding Michael Smith to a 7-7 draw last week despite averaging just 90 to his opponent's 100.

Nonetheless, he is just two points adrift of fourth spot but will require a significant improvement on his performances in the weekend's ProTour events which led to successive First Round exits and several changes to his setup.

The pick of the night's matches features a repeat of last year's Premier League final and this year's World Championship final as Van Gerwen takes on Smith.

Van Gerwen averaged 105 in a thrilling 7-5 win over 'Bully Boy' on the opening night back in February and could all but end Smith's fading play-off hopes with a further victory here.

The world number one battled back from 5-1 down to earn a 7-7 draw with Gerwyn Price last time out but will accept nothing less than maximum points in his quest to keep the pressure on Cross at the summit.

Smith is propping up the pile on just eight points having won just one of his last four games and knows he can ill-afford any further slip-ups if he is to make a late charge for a top four finish and a return to The O2.

Mensur Suljovic has emerged as the dark horse for glory this year and looks to take another big step towards a debut on Finals Night by overcoming Grand Slam Champion Gerwyn Price.

Suljovic, who was eliminated at the halfway stage on debut last year alongside Price, starts the night in third position after recording four wins from his last five matches.

Price finds himself in sixth spot, just one adrift of the top four, and is aiming to continue his strong head-to-head record over the Austrian, having won ten of their 14 previous meetings, including a 7-3 success in Aberdeen last month.

Fourth faces fifth in a crucial clash as James Wade takes on Daryl Gurney, with only legs difference to choose between the pair.

Both players are looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats a week ago which allowed the chasing pack to close the gap, though Gurney will undoubtedly have revenge on his mind after suffering a humiliating 7-0 whitewash at the hands of Wade earlier in the season - only the tenth in Premier League history.

Gurney is renowned for his trademark scoring power, but it is Wade who has made the running in the scoring stakes so far this season, hitting 34 maximums (to Gurney's 23) - six more than he managed in the entire 2017 campaign.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 14 legs, making a 7-7 draw a possibility. Two points are awarded for a win and one for a draw.


Unibet Premier League 2019 Schedule


Thursday April 11

7.15pm Rob Cross v Peter Wright
8.00pm Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic
8.45pm James Wade v Daryl Gurney
9.30pm Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen



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Premier League Darts 2019 Night 11 preview and order of play: Top two vie for the lead in Liverpool

The 2019 Premier League road-show lands in Liverpool on Thursday as the battle for top spot and play-off places takes another twist.

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