Night Seven of the 2021 Premier League Darts season sees the scramble for survival and battle for top spot take…
Night Seven of the 2021 Premier League Darts season sees the scramble for survival and battle for top spot take another twist on Tuesday.
Just a single point separates the top five players in the table after six nights of competition, underlining the close-run nature of this year’s elite invitational.
Only three rounds of fixtures remain before the bottom two players in the table are eliminated from the tournament on Judgement Night, though the fate of one appears to be all but sealed.
Reigning champion Glen Durrant has endured a nightmare title defence so far, losing each of his opening six matches and could be effectively resigned to elimination with two nights to spare if he fails to pick up a point again.
Durrant is rooted to the foot of the table, five points adrift and with a legs difference of minus 28, making it a virtually impossible task to avert an early exit.
The tenacious Teessider will be determined to avoid becoming the first player in Premier League history to fail to register any points but knows he must raise his game significantly from what he has shown so far if that is to happen.
Durrant, who is yet to register a 90+ average, kicks off Night Seven with a clash against his close friend Jose De Sousa.
De Sousa is aiming to replicate Duzza’s achievements last season by topping the table and going on to win the title in his debut appearance.
The Grand Slam champion enters the clash on the back of successive wins either side of the week-long break and has recorded four consecutive ton-plus averages.
A third consecutive win for the Portuguese star would effectively secure his place beyond Judgement Night, and he remains the most prolific scorer of the ten with a staggering 31 maximums to his name.
Dimitri van den Bergh leads the way at the top of the pile as one of three players locked level on eight points and with identical legs difference.
The World Matchplay champion is thriving in his first season as a Premier League player and returned to winning ways in style by defeating Jonny Clayton 7-3 with a 102 average on Monday.
The Belgian ace looks to remain the early front-runner in the quest for the £25,000 league winner’s bonus and now faces former World Champion Rob Cross.
Cross has enjoyed a welcome return to form in this competition after coming into it on the back of a torrid 12 months on the circuit but will be out to avert a third straight defeat.
The 2019 World Matchplay winner was left to rue two missed darts at doubles to seal a 6-6 draw with Gary Anderson on Monday, slipping to a 7-5 defeat despite an average of 100.5.
Cross now finds himself hovering dangerous above the dotted line on five points and will be determined to avoid back-to-back relegations.
James Wade occupies the second elimination spot by virtue of an inferior legs difference to Cross going into Night Seven and faces a crucial clash against 2017 finalist Peter Wright.
The 2009 Premier League winner appeared to be in some discomfort following a 7-5 defeat to De Sousa despite averaging 104 and will hope to be back fit and firing against the world number three.
Wright’s indifferent start to the season is underlined by his record of two wins, two draws and two defeats so far, and the colourful Scot continues to chase the missing piece by altering his setup on an almost daily basis.
Wright and Wade are the two most efficient finishers in the event so far, each with a 49 percent checkout success rate, while ‘Snakebite’ has a tournament average of 97.7 to the left-hander’s 95.
The box office fixture of the night sees two multiple Premier League champions face off as Michael van Gerwen meets Gary Anderson.
Five-time champion Van Gerwen finds himself joint top of the table despite being a far cry from at his best so far, averaging 96.3 for the tournament.
He battled past an out of sorts Durrant 7-3 on Monday with a mere 87.6 average and will be hoping this quick-fire contest against his long-term rival provides the perfect spark.
Van Gerwen missed out on the play-offs last year for the first time since making his Premier League debut in 2013 and will be determined to ensure lightning does not strike twice.
Anderson punished Cross’ two missed doubles in the final leg to snatch victory 24 hours ago and was heavily critical of his own performance post-match.
The 2011 and 2015 champion occupies fifth spot with seven points and will be fired up for a clash which so often brings out the best in both players.
Nathan Aspinall steps up his pursuit of back-to-back play-off appearances with a show-down against dangerous debutant Jonny Clayton.
Aspinall has already taken a huge step towards securing his place in the second half of the competition and will feel he is playing well enough to mount a serious charge for top spot.
The 2020 runner-up averaged 105.3 in dismantling Wright 7-3 last night and is now unbeaten in his last four outings at the Marshall Arena.
Masters champion Clayton slipped to only his second defeat of the season as he went down 7-3 to Van den Bergh despite an average of 101.
The Welsh World Cup winner remains handily poised in fourth spot and will be eyeing a swift recovery to ensure he remains at the right end of the table.
Premier League Darts Night Seven gets under way from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 12 legs. Two points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw.
Premier League Darts 2021 Night Seven Schedule
Tuesday April 20
7.15pm Glen Durrant v Jose de Sousa
8.00pm Rob Cross v Dimitri Van den Bergh
8.45pm Nathan Aspinall v Jonny Clayton
9.30pm Peter Wright v James Wade
10.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson