The early jostle for position continues on Night Three of 2021 Premier League Darts with five players looking to maintain…
The early jostle for position continues on Night Three of 2021 Premier League Darts with five players looking to maintain their unbeaten starts.
Incredibly, no player has managed to record back-to-back to wins on the opening two nights in Milton Keynes, setting the tone for perhaps one of the most closely-matched and unpredictable Premier Leagues of recent years.
Defending champion Glen Durrant, however, is the only player yet to pick up a point and could find himself cut adrift should he slip to a third straight defeat on Wednesday.
The three-time BDO World Champion has averaged 88 in each of his two defeats so far this week, going down 7-3 to both Nathan Aspinall and Jonny Clayton.
He now faces another formidable test against Dimitri van den Bergh – who appears to be back to full fitness and form.
The World Matchplay champion held Michael van Gerwen to a 6-6 draw on opening night before securing his first win as a Premier League player by defeating Aspinall 7-5 with a 103.7 average on Tuesday.
Van den Bergh landed seven 180s last night, underlining his significant scoring power, and will look to pile more pressure on a struggling Duzza – who continues to search for the form which has eluded him since he lifted this title last October.
Michael van Gerwen was far below his best on Night Two but a 92 average proved sufficient to safely see off rival Peter Wright 7-2.
The five-time Premier League champion is top of the early table and will be determined to remain in that position for the entirety of the campaign, having missed out on the play-offs last year for the first time.
Van Gerwen kicks off the night with a clash against Rob Cross in a repeat of the 2019 final, with Cross having enjoyed a welcome return to form so far this week.
The 2018 World Champion has also picked up three points from his opening two games, drawing with Jose De Sousa before easing past an out of sorts James Wade 7-3.
Cross now has the chance to equal his points tally from nine games last season – when he was eliminated from the competition at the halfway stage.
Gary Anderson, who also has three points to his name, takes on his former World Cup winning team-mate Peter Wright in the pick of the night’s fixtures.
Anderson, who has reached the play-offs in each of his last six Premier League campaigns, has landed high checkouts of 156 and 145 in his opening two matches this season.
The two-time Premier League champion picked up a draw and a win from this fixture last season and will look to pounce on any continuation of last night’s below-par showing from Snakebite.
Wright averaged just 88 in his heavy defeat to MVG, a stark contrast to his 101 average and six from six on the doubles against Jonny Clayton 24 hours earlier.
He finds himself second from bottom in the early standings and will be keen to avoid becoming dragged into a potential relegation battle going into the second block of fixtures.
Clayton aims to continue his terrific start to life in the Premier League when he comes up against fellow debutant De Sousa.
The reigning Masters champion followed up his 105.5 average on opening night with a 98.6 in a 7-3 rout of Durrant and is already looking in an upward direction as he bids to mount a play-off challenge.
De Sousa was left to rue three missed darts at doubles to earn another point as Anderson snatched a 7-5 win on Tuesday, and the Portuguese star will be determined to brush up on his finishing to accompany his lethal scoring power.
The duo have been two of the stand-out performers on both floor and stage over the past 12 months and will both feel they have a genuine chance of challenging for this title at the first attempt.
Two players bidding to bounce back from defeats last night go head-to-head as Nathan Aspinall faces James Wade.
Aspinall, last year’s beaten finalist, squandered a 5-3 lead in a 7-5 defeat to Van den Bergh, while birthday boy Wade averaged just 88 in defeat to Cross.
The action 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 Schedule
Night Three – Wednesday April 7
7.15pm Rob Cross v Michael van Gerwen
8.00pm Glen Durrant v Dimitri Van den Bergh
8.45pm Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
9.30pm Nathan Aspinall v James Wade
10.15pm Jose de Sousa v Jonny Clayton