Premier League Darts 2019 Night 15 preview and order of play: Play-off scramble in the steel city

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 7 May 2019
Suljovic and Cross collide in Sheffield (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The penultimate week of round-robin action sees the eight Premier League stars descend on Sheffield for what could prove to be a pivotal night in the race to reach the play-offs.

With the bottom two in the league table now mathematically unable to gatecrash Finals Night and league leader Rob Cross already assured of a Semi-Final spot, it is down to the other five hopefuls to battle it out for the three remaining places.

Third and sixth are separated by just two points heading into the final two sets of regular fixtures, ensuring the battle to reach The O2 will go down to the wire.

An equally fascinating sub-plot sees defending champion Michael van Gerwen embroiled in a battle for top spot and with matters now out of his own hands.

Van Gerwen has finished top of the table and gone on to reach the final in all six of his previous Premier League campaigns, but now finds that record under serious threat after being knocked off the summit last week.

The Dutchman suffered his third defeat of the season at the hands of Daryl Gurney in Manchester, and must now hope Cross slips up in either of the final two league nights if he is to scoop the £25,000 bonus once again.

The world number one, who claimed the Austrian Open title on Sunday, faces the eliminated Peter Wright in Sheffield as he bids to inflict another heavy defeat on the colourful Scot, following on from his 7-1 rout earlier in the season.

A dress rehearsal for Thursday's clash saw MVG edge out Wright 6-5 in the Quarter-Finals of the Austrian Open despite an average of just 89.

Wright is without a win in his last nine Premier League games and the 2017 runner-up will be keen to end the campaign on a high and avoid finishing the second phase bottom of the pile.

The world number six has lost his last three meetings with the green machine but famously did the double over him in last year's Premier League and has beaten him twice in televised competition within the last 12 months.

A win for Cross, coupled with a defeat for Van Gerwen, would see him secure top spot for the first time with a week to spare, but 'Voltage' will be focused simply on the two wins he requires to top the pile regardless of MVG's results.

Cross, who is averaging 100 for the tournament, faces a tough test against play-off chasing Mensur Suljovic - the only other opponent he has lost to in this year's Premier League aside from Van Gerwen.

Suljovic starts the night in fourth position as he bids to reach the play-offs for the first time and knows that a win would see him put one foot into The O2 ahead of next week's decisive trip to Leeds.

A potential make-or-break clash sees fifth face sixth as Daryl Gurney takes on Gerwyn Price, with a defeat for either leaving their play-off hopes hanging by a thread.

Gurney starts the night on 16 points and is vying for a third straight win which would see him pile the pressure onto Suljovic ahead of his Austrian's clash with MVG next week.

The Northern Irishman finished fifth in his debut campaign 12 months ago and has been inside the top four on just three occasions since the opening night in his second Premier League stint.

Price, meanwhile, has turned his fortunes around after finishing rock bottom last season, but on 15 points, is the outsider of the chasing pack and will be aware that only a win would realistically keep his hopes alive.

The Welshman averaged just 89 in an 8-4 defeat to James Wade last week and will need to keep a cool head if he is to extend his dominant record against Gurney, having won eight of their 11 previous meetings.

The opening match of the night sees 2009 Premier League champion Wade up against last year's beaten finalist - Michael Smith.

Wade is sitting pretty in third spot with 17 points and a whopping +18 legs difference and could all but secure a first Semi-Final appearance since 2013 with a win at the FlyDSA Arena.

Wade has lost just one of his last eight Premier League games and boasts a formidable head-to-head record against 'Bully Boy', having won their last nine consecutive encounters and 15 of their last 16.

World finalist Smith has lost four of his last six Premier League games (drawing two) in a tournament to forget, but with no pressure on his shoulders, will be determined to finish on a high and leapfrog Wright into seventh.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, 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


Night 15 - Thursday May 9

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



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Premier League Darts 2019 Night 15 preview and order of play: Play-off scramble in the steel city

The penultimate week of round-robin action sees the eight Premier League stars descend on Sheffield for what could prove to be a pivotal night in the race to reach the play-offs.

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