Premier League Darts 2019 Night Two preview and order of play: Big guns collide in Glasgow

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 14 Feb 2019
Lakeside Champion Durrant celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The Premier League heads north of the border to Glasgow for Night Two of competition on Thursday, with a home favourite and high-profile Contender taking centre stage.

The opening night in Newcastle saw reigning champion Michael van Gerwen get off to a winning start, while Geordie hero Chris Dobey held Mensur Suljovic to a dramatic draw.

The road-show now heads further north for the first of its two stop-offs in Scotland, with the atmospheric SSE Hydro playing host to the sport's top stars.

In the absence of two-time champion Gary Anderson, the pressure will be heaped onto the shoulders of Peter Wright as the sole Scottish representative.

Wright, who shared the spoils with Rob Cross in his opener last Thursday, faces another tough test against world finalist Michael Smith in the first match of the evening.

The world number three defeated 'Bully Boy' 10-6 in the Quarter-Finals of last month's Masters but was thrashed 7-1 by Smith in both of their Unibet Premier League meetings last season.

Smith was denied by his nemesis MVG last week in a repeat of both the World Championship and 2018 Premier League final, but will take encouragement from the 7-5 scoreline despite being below his best.

The St Helens star will be keen to put points on the board at the next available opportunity and silence the partisan home crowd with a dominant display from the outset.

All eyes will be on reigning and three-time BDO World Champion Glen Durrant as he marks his first televised appearance as a PDC player with a clash against Daryl Gurney.

Durrant is one of nine 'Contenders' who have been drafted in to this year's Premier League to replace the injured Anderson, and 'Duzza' will be riding high after reaching the final of last Sunday's Players Championship event.

The Middlesbrough marksman, a former Grand Slam quarter-finalist, will step out in front of by far the biggest crowd he has ever played in front of and will relish the opportunity to test his mettle against a current PDC major title holder.

Players Championship Finals winner Gurney was beaten in the first match of his second Premier League campaign, and unlike Durrant, has the pressure of playing for crucial points towards the league table.

Since claiming glory in Minehead last November, Gurney has suffered early exits in the World Championship and Masters, as well as the two ProTour events last weekend and will be determined to recapture his trademark scoring power and return to winning ways. 

Reigning and four-time Premier League champion Van Gerwen looks to make it four points from four by denying unflappable Austrian Mensur Suljovic in the final match of the night.

Van Gerwen, who secured a third world title on New Year's Day and went on to retain The Masters trophy, averaged just shy of 105 in his hard-fought win on Tyneside and continued his winning spree by claiming glory in the first Players Championship event of the year.

His rampant run, however, was finally ended by Jonny Clayton in Sunday's Players Championship, but the Dutch superstar has already laid the foundations for what could be a dominant year.

Suljovic fought back from 5-1 down to earn a 6-6 draw with home hero Dobey last week and is now eyeing his first televised triumph over Van Gerwen since 2010.

The world number eight was eliminated on Judgement Night last year and knows he must put points on the board early on in order to avoid looking over his shoulder once again.

Raymond van Barneveld is now favorite to finish bottom of the table in his 14th and final Premier League campaign, but will be out to relieve some pressure by defeating pantomime villain Gerwyn Price.

Van Barneveld was beaten 7-4 by James Wade on opening night in his first competitive outing since his shock Last 64 exit to Darius Labanauskas at the World Championship and will be desperate to gain a confidence-boosting win in front of the tartan contingent of his 'Barney Army'.

Price, meanwhile, picked up his televised first win since claiming Grand Slam glory last November as he saw off Daryl Gurney 7-4 with a stunning 104 average, and any repeat of that ruthless display could spell grave danger for the Dutchman.

Price, who appeared subdued at The Masters, roared back to his best in Newcastle to secure his first ever Premier League win and has already matched his entire points tally from his debut campaign.

James Wade, the 2009 champion, looks to continue his superb start to 2019 by denying world number two Rob Cross.

Wade, a winner of two televised titles last season, began the new campaign by reaching the final of The Masters and defeating Van Barneveld last week and is vying for his fifth win over Cross in their last six meetings.

Former World Champion Cross averaged 103.5 in his stalemate with 'Snakebite', but with MVG to come next week, he will be keen to register his first win sooner rather than later in his quest to reach the play-offs in successive seasons.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 12 legs, making a 6-6 draw a possibility. Two points are awarded for a win and one for a draw.

Unibet Premier League 2019 Schedule

Night Two - Thursday February 14

7.15pm Peter Wright v Michael Smith
8.00pm Rob Cross v James Wade
8.45pm Raymond van Barneveld v Gerwyn Price
9.30pm Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
10.15pm Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen

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Premier League Darts 2019 Night Two preview and order of play: Big guns collide in Glasgow

The Premier League heads north of the border to Glasgow for Night Two of competition on Thursday, with a home favourite and high-profile Contender taking centre stage.

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