VAN GERWEN AIMS FOR UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE REVENGE AGAINST WADE IN BIRMINGHAM
THE 2019 Unibet Premier League continues with Night 13 at Arena Birmingham on Thursday, as Michael van Gerwen seeks to avenge his defeat to James Wade earlier in the season.
Van Gerwen regained his place at the top of the Premier League table with a comprehensive victory over previous leader Rob Cross in Cardiff last week.
However, the Dutchman had suffered a shock 7-3 loss to Wade in Exeter on Night Four, a loss which had ended his winning start to the season.
World number one Van Gerwen must now overturn that result to stay on track to maintain his impressive record of topping the Premier League standings every year since his 2013 debut season.
“James is playing maybe his best darts ever and he is a winner who has a killer instinct so I will have to play really well again but I believe in myself and I don’t fear anyone,” said Van Gerwen.
“I had to work hard to beat Rob but now I’m back on top I have to keep working hard to stay there and not make any mistakes.
“Of course I think I belong at the top of the table, I’ve been there for the past five years and before last week I was a bit gutted about being second.”
Third-placed Wade comes into the contest on the back of a resounding 8-2 win over Peter Wright in the Welsh capital, having claimed back-to-back Players Championship titles in the previous weekend.
The in-form 2009 Premier League champion insists he has no fears about once again locking horns with Van Gerwen as he looks to book his place at The O2 for the first time since 2013.
“Out of all the players in the Premier League I think I’m the most confident in playing against Michael,” said Wade.
“Michael is amazing at what he does, he’s a phenomenal dart player who I respect hugely but I know I can beat him.
“I’ve not been playing my best darts for five years, but now I’m starting to play well again which makes me feel both excited and nervous.
“I know I’m as good as anyone else, I know I can win TV titles including the Premier League but now it’s up to me to go and do it.”
Fourth-placed Gerwyn Price is hoping his landmark win in Cardiff can act as a catalyst to secure a Play-Off place ahead of his meeting with Cross, who now sits a point behind Van Gerwen.
Proud Welshman Price delighted his home crowd with an 8-5 victory over Michael Smith, which featured two roof-raising 170 finishes in successive legs, to maintain his place in the Play-Off spots and keep alive his dream of a debut appearance at The O2.
“I never ever feel pressure but early on in the game against Michael [Smith] game I was up against it and I was glad to get over the line.” said Price.
“In the first two or three legs I was a bit overwhelmed by the support I got, and to win in front of the Welsh fans was a special experience.
“Once I got the game with Michael [van Gerwen] out of the way then I knew I could beat everyone else I had left to play.
“I managed to get a point against Michael and from here on in I’m targeting two points in every match.
“Even if they play their ‘A game’ against my ‘A game’ I feel I’m going to win. I’m so focused on my goal of staying in the top four and that’s my aim for the next four weeks.”
With four games left to play, the battle is on for the four places in the Play-Offs at The O2 on May 23, with just two points separating the four players placed third to sixth.
Mensur Suljovic currently sits just outside the coveted top four places in fifth, and he will face 2018 runner-up Smith in the opening game of the night in Birmingham.
Daryl Gurney suffered defeat to Suljovic in a crucial clash in Cardiff, but the Players Championship Finals winner will look to bounce back against Peter Wright.
Night 13 of the Unibet Premier League in Birmingham will be shown live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World Subscribers.
2019 Unibet Premier League
Night 13 – Thursday April 25
Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Night 13 Match Odds
6/4 Mensur Suljovic – Draw 7/2 – Michael Smith 13/10
6/5 Daryl Gurney – Draw 7/2 – Peter Wright 6/4
9/2 James Wade – Draw 9/2 – Michael van Gerwen 2/5
Odds via www.unibet.co.uk and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.