MVG celebrates against Smith during the Premier League (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Two-time champion Michael van Gerwen and world number ten Michael Smith vie for darts’ ultimate prize on January 1 and we’ve crunched the numbers ahead of the sport’s show-piece fixture.
The match signals a repeat of this year’s Premier League final as MVG aims to repeat the dose on ‘Bully Boy’ and be crowned World Champion for the third time.
Van Gerwen, who claimed glory at Alexandra Palace in 2014 and 2017, is bidding to become the first player outside of Phil Taylor to win three PDC world titles and underline his position at the summit of the sport.
The Dutch superstar has dropped just one set in each of his five wins en route to this stage with a tournament average of 103.6.
He has now recorded an astonishing 18 consecutive ton-plus averages on the Alexandra Palace stage and has lost just one major ranking final since 2015 – with that coming against Daryl Gurney in last month’s Players Championship finals.
Smith is out to create a slice of history by becoming the latest new name on the Sid Waddell Trophy at the first attempt.
Smith, Shanghai Masters winner and Premier League finalist in 2018, culminated the most successful year of his career to date by booking his place in the final with a tournament average of 100.5.
Van Gerwen has the upper-hand in the head-to-heads, winning 25 of their 31 previous encounters, including a crushing 11-4 victory in May’s Premier League final and a thrilling 10-8 triumph in the Last 16 of November’s Grand Slam.
The final gets underway from 8pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 13 sets.
How the two finalists compare
Head-to-Head Record (since 2009)
Michael van Gerwen 25-6 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 103.72
Michael Smith 101.19
Michael Smith 51
Michael van Gerwen 32
Michael Smith 91
Michael van Gerwen 84
Tournament Checkout Percentage
Michael van Gerwen 46.25%
Michael Smith 44.83%
180s per leg
Michael Smith 0.41%
Michael van Gerwen 0.29%
Highest Match Average
Michael van Gerwen 108.08 (vs A Lewis)
Michael Smith 105.22 (vs N Aspinall)
Michael van Gerwen 170
Michael Smith 136
World Championship final facts
Phil Taylor vs Kevin Painter (2004) – 1895 darts, 64 legs
Top five final averages
Michael van Gerwen 106.32 (2017)
Phil Taylor 104.63 (2010)
Phil Taylor 104.08 (2009)
Gary Anderson 103.45 (2017)
Gary Anderson 103.06 (2011)
Record UK TV audience: 1,500,000 (2015 Final)