The Premier League Darts is in full flow, with Night 6 of 16 firmly on the horizon — taking place at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on March 17th. The tournament has undergone a massive format change this year, with each night boasting quarter-finals, semi-finals and an 11-leg final — which is worth five points and an impressive £10,000 bonus, while the runner-up has to settle for three points with the semi-finalists being awarded two.
The eight players will meet each other twice in the quarter-finals in 14 of the 16 nights, with Night 8’s and Night 16’s schedules to be decided by the league standings. At this early stage, fair few players still have hope of getting their hands on the trophy when the play-offs have panned out at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on June 13th. But let’s take a look at who the darts odds are predicting to win the Premier League…
Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen has left a lot to be desired in the last couple of years. After winning a massive seven tournaments in 2019, the Dutchman has faltered to deceive for the best part of the last two seasons — winning two tournaments at either end of 2020 before firing a rare blank last year.
He’s out to put that right this season though, currently topping the Premier League table at the time of writing. After getting off to a relatively slow start, losing in the quarters on Night 1 and faring no better than the semis in Liverpool and Belfast, Van Gerwen has won the last two events — trashing Peter Wright 6-0 in Exeter and edging Michael Smith 6-4 in Brighton. MvG is well on course for a sixth Premier League title at this point.
despite being dismantled by Van Gerwen twice now, it has not been a bad start to the tournament for Wright by any means. Second in the table, four points behind his Dutch counterpart at the time of writing, the current World Darts Championship holder got off to the perfect start — carrying his Ally Pally form into the first night in Cardiff as he dispatched of Smith, Gary Anderson and Jonny Clayton to take home the £10k bonus.
MvG dealt him a 6-1 defeat in the quarters on Night 2, and ‘Snakebite’ has been somewhat of a mixed bag since. He got to the semis again in Belfast, losing to James Wade, before that whitewash final against Van Gerwen took place in Exeter. Losing quarter-finalist to Clayton last time out in Brighton, Wright needs to rediscover his rhythm if he wants to get the pressure on the Dutchman.
Gerwyn Price has become the man darts fans love to hate. The pantomime villain at the last renewal of the World Darts Championship, as the boisterous crowd gave him plenty of stick on their return to Ally Pally for the prestigious tournament, the Welshman hasn’t exactly hit the ground running as he looks to get his hands on the Premier League title for the first time.
Having lost to James Wade in the quarters and Joe Cullen in the semis on the first two nights, Price got off the mark in the SSE Arena in Belfast on the third attempt — beating James Wade 6-4 in Northern Ireland. But he was beaten by Wright in the quarter-finals in Night 4 and a hand injury forced him to withdraw from the Brighton event. Currently four in the table, Price has a lot of ground to make up.
Level on points in second with Wright, Clayton had a fantastic season last year — winning four tournaments, including the Premier League Darts — and he is by no means out of the running at this stage of the competition, sitting just four points behind MvG after Night 5.
Losing finalist to Wright on the opening night, Clayton returned to the final the following week in Liverpool — beating Cullen 6-4 at the M&S Bank Arena. However, cold water was quickly poured on his fiery start as he failed to fare better than the quarters in Belfast and Exeter. A narrow 6-5 win over Wright saw him progress to the last four in Brighton, but he was beaten 6-2 by Michael Smith.