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Who Will be Axed as Judgement Night Looms in the Premier League Darts?


Over the past eight weeks, we have enjoyed seven Thursday nights of Premier League Darts, with one evening cancelled in Exeter due to terrible snowy weather making it unsafe for anybody to get to and from the venue. That cancellation has meant that the schedule for the season has been altered slightly and Judgement Night has moved to the Liverpool Echo Arena in a fortnight’s time.

To ensure that all games could be played in the event, this has meant the creation of an additional date to replace Exeter in the schedule and that has been arranged to be played on Week 11 in Rotterdam at the Ahoy. On that week, there will be two nights of darts, Night 11A on Wednesday and Night 11B on Thursday to ensure the full complement of matches can be completed.

What this means is that we now have reached the point where each player just has two weeks of Phase 1 of the Premier League Darts remaining and the battle to avoid Judgement Night elimination, as well as positioning yourself for a run at the playoffs, will begin in earnest this week.

Before we look at the remaining games for each player, here’s a look at how the current Premier League Darts table stands:

Premier League Darts Table

Pos Player Ply Legs For Legs Ag Pts Leg Agg 3 Dart Avg Checkout %age
1 Michael van Gerwen 7 47 23 12 +24 103.09 45.63%
2 Michael Smith 7 42 29 10 +13 92.65 38.89%
3 Rob Cross 7 38 29 10 +9 97.96 48.72%
4 Raymond van Barneveld 7 40 37 8 +3 94.11 38.83%
5 Gary Anderson 7 40 39 7 +1 98.14 40.82%
6 Simon Whitlock 7 38 37 7 +1 95.94 42.70%
7 Daryl Gurney 7 37 41 6 -4 97.04 32.17%
8 Mensur Suljovic 7 31 39 4 -8 99.84 45.49%
9 Peter Wright 7 26 45 4 -19 95.64 36.11%
10 Gerwyn Price 7 27 47 2 -20 92.07 39.13%

The big surprise in the tournament so far has been the form of Michael Smith who despite having the 4th lowest 3 checkout percentage and the second lowest 3-dart average, finds himself in second place having lost just two of his seven games so far. This is Smith’s second Premier League campaign after he struggled in his opening one and was eliminated on Judgement Night two years ago.

Another surprise, this time for the worse, has been the struggles of World Number 2 Peter Wright. After claiming a superb win over Michael van Gerwen in Week 2, many expected Wright to be at the top of the table. What has followed since has been a dramatic loss of form which has seen the Scotsman look a shadow of his best, losing his last three matches each by a shocking 7-1 scoreline, plunging him deep into the threat of elimination on Judgement Night.

Form Guide :

  • Who’s Hot – Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross
  • Who’s Improving – Gay Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Raymond van Barneveld
  • Who’s Off the Boil – Simon Whitlock, Michael Smith, Mensur Suljovic
  • Who’s Cold – Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright

Of course, the chances for each player remaining in the event following Judgement Night depends a great deal on who they will face in their final two games. So far three players are absolutely certain of their place in the tournament following Judgement Night, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Rob Cross. It would also take a really unusual set of results to deny Raymond van Barneveld a place, while Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock also look relatively safe too.

That leaves four players, Daryl Gurney, Mensur Suljovic, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price battling against elimination, so let’s take a look at who each player will face in these crucial final two weeks.

Final Two Weeks Opponents for Each Player

Player Name Night Eight Opponent Judgement Night Opponent
Michael van Gerwen V Raymond van Barneveld (4) V Mensur Suljovic (8)
Michael Smith V Gerwyn Price (10) V Raymond van Barneveld (4)
Rob Cross V Daryl Gurney (7) V Gary Anderson (5)
Raymond van Barneveld V Michael van Gerwen (1) V Michael Smith (2)
Gary Anderson V Mensur Suljovic (8) V Rob Cross (3)
Simon Whitlock V Peter Wright (9) V Gerwyn Price (10)
Daryl Gurney V Rob Cross (3) V Peter Wright (9)
Mensur Suljovic V Gary Anderson (5) V Michael van Gerwen (1)
Peter Wright V Simon Whitlock (6) V Daryl Gurney (7)
Gerwyn Price V Michael Smith (2) V Simon Whitlock (6)

Analysis

Looking at the final two fixtures for the bottom four players, it looks to me as though Peter Wright may have the best chance of escaping the drop zone, if he can find his form. That though, is a very big if, although he did put together a couple of wins on the circuit at the weekend.

At his best, Wright would fancy his chances against both Whitlock and Gurney in his two remaining games and that would give him eight points, more than enough likely to avoid relegation.

In contrast, Mensur Suljovic who also has four points, faces a nightmare end to his first Premier League season with games against the World No 3 Gary Anderson and then the World Number 1 and Premier League leader Michael van Gerwen. With both of these players coming into some decent form, to get one point, let alone, two, three or the maximum four is a huge ask for the Austrian.

Suljovic’s tough end to the season means that I think even if Gurney loses both his games, he may still be safe.

Judgement Night Call – Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic to be eliminated.

Phase 2 & The Playoffs

After Judgement Night in Liverpool, there are seven more dates for the remaining eight players to face off against each other one more time. On each Phase 2 night players will play one game guaranteed and on one night of the six, two players will play twice to ensure that players face all seven possible opponents in the six weeks.

The records the players hold in the table carry through from Judgement Night, so results at this stage of the competition still matter a great deal. After the six weeks of Phase 2, the top four players in the table qualify for the Playoffs at the London 02 Arena, where they will play two semi-finals and the two winners of those games will contest the final.