5 things to watch for when Premier League Darts returns
It’s been five long months since we last saw Premier League Darts on our TV screens, but the tungsten tornado is back in our lives next week!
To clear the backlog of matches, the Professional Darts Corporation has prepared six straight days of Premier League action, so from Tuesday through Sunday, we are going to witness the world’s best go toe-to-toe on the oche.
MVG still the man to beat
Michael van Gerwen turned down the chance to play in the PDC’s improvised "Home Tour" event during lockdown, as he felt there would be more value sticking to his usual practice routine at home in the Netherlands.
It certainly seemed to work. He has won two of the five events since the Premier League was postponed and averaged 104.5 and 102.5 in the two finals.
🏆 VAN GERWEN WINS 🏆— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) July 8, 2020
The darts is back, and Michael van Gerwen is back winning titles!
A brilliant final goes all the way between MvG and Peter Wright, but it's the world number one who takes the opening day of the PDC Summer Series ☀️🎯 pic.twitter.com/Mj9OOAthx0
The Dutch darting legend sits second in the league, as he bids for a history-making fifth Premier League title in a row.
He is still, by far, the man everyone has to beat.
Snakebite’s super roommate
Current world champion Peter Wright generously opened his home up to Dimitri van den Bergh during lockdown, since the Belgian player was unable to return home because of COVID-19 restrictions, and it has done both of the players a world of good.
WRIGHT REACHES THE SEMIS!— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) July 8, 2020
Peter Wright averages a huge 108 as he closes out a 6-3 win over Glen Durrant to reach the Semi-Finals on Day One!
The World Champion was unplayable in the opening exchanges there...
Watch all the action here - https://t.co/TsjXrpUv5k pic.twitter.com/5Xv6Hk69KJ
Wright has made two finals since. He lost one to van Gerwen, but hammered Gerwyn Price, 8-2, in the other. He went out in the last 16 of the World Matchplay, in an 11-8 defeat to Glen Durrant, but banged in eight 180s on the way.
Nobody has hit more 180s in the Premier League this year than Snakebite, so expect him to pick up where he left off.
Durrant’s deadly doubling
Durrant tops the Premier League without stealing the show. He ranks sixth for his average score and bottom for number of 180s hit, but his awesome doubling wins him games.
And he doesn’t seem to have lost his touch during lockdown.
Durrant made the semifinal of the World Matchplay last month and had a checkout success rate of 38.8% across 98 legs. More of the same will make Duzza tough to beat.
The Price isn’t right
One man who seems to have gone off the boil is Price. The Welshman sits seventh in the league and needs a decent run of form to make the playoffs, but signs suggest he may struggle.
He made one final during the break, but out of the five events, he was knocked out in the third round or earlier in three. He was also dumped out of the World Matchplay in the opening round by world No. 26 Danny Noppert, in a match where his average dipped under 91.
The Iceman will need to catch fire on the practice board in the next week to make that playoff push.
Gurney’s mountain to climb
Daryl Gurney has three matches to save his Premier League campaign. Three points adrift at the bottom of the table, he needs a huge swing in momentum to save himself before Judgement Day on Thursday.
That starts with Chris Dobey, who he has beaten three times in their last four meetings. Superchin will need to add another win to that tally to get the resumption of the league off to a perfect start, otherwise his week will be over early.