PA Images

By Chip Kidger
7th March 2018 at 5:04pm

Even heavy snow can’t keep the Premier League Darts roadshow down for long, and after Week 5 in Exeter was postponed due to Storm Emma, the tournament returns with a vengeance this Thursday at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

As a result, Judgement Night – the league finale – has been pushed back a week later and will now take place in Liverpool on April 5th. The bottom two players in the league will be eliminated with the remaining eight competing for a place in May’s play-offs.

For darts fans, the mouth-watering clash between Michael van Gerwen and this tournament’s surprise package Simon Whitlock will have made the wait even more worthwhile.

Veteran Whitlock has responded to his critics in the best possible way during the opening rounds of this year’s PL Darts, racking up three consecutive wins before something of a reality check in Week 4 with a 7-3 defeat to current league leader Michael Smith.

Dartsweek6-MVG

‘The Wizard’ faces an even tougher challenge on Thursday night against pre-tournament favourite Michael Van Gerwen who looks to be coming into form at just the right time after a comprehensive 7-2 win over Daryl Gurney in Berlin last time out.

On the flipside, Gurney and Gerwyn Price will be hoping the extended break has done them the world of good after disappointing starts to their respective campaigns, with both hoping to chalk up their first wins in Week 6.

Despite being the bookies outsiders in their respective matches, both look to have potentially winnable fixtures against old stagers Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld, but with all four struggling to build momentum in the tournament, Leeds promises to be a fascinating battle of youth vs experience at the pressure cooker halfway stage of Premier League Darts.

Dartsweek6-GaryAnderson

This week, Anderson admitted he finds it ‘harder each year’ with the influx of young talent on the darts scene but will be buoyant after securing the UK Open last weekend – his first major PDC tournament win in five attempts.

Speaking of youth, Week 6 also sees the two youngest players in the tournament go head-to-head as Rob Cross goes up against Michael Smith.

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s the latter who has been stealing all the headlines so far in 2018, but in the last round, PDC World Champion Cross finally seemed to be back on track following a stuttering start to the tournament, registering his second consecutive win in a 7-3 tussle with Van Barneveld and finishing with a flourish with a 128 checkout.

Finally, Mensur Suljović will be hoping to follow-up his maiden win in this year’s tournament as he takes on a steady but unspectacular Peter Wright. After impressing last time around taking the spoils 7-3 against Gerwyn Price , the unorthodox Austrian may well need to take his chance to stretch further away from the elimination places.

 

Night Six – March 8

First Direct Arena, Leeds

Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock

Gerwyn Price v Raymond van Barneveld

Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic

Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney

Rob Cross v Michael Smith

 

Key stats from Week 4

Highest 3 Dart Average: 106.20 (Mensur Suljovic)

Highest Checkout: 150 (Gary Anderson)

Most 180s: 5 (Gary Anderson and Michael Smith)

Total 180s: 31

 

Forthcoming fixtures

Following Storm Emma and the cancellation of Week 5 in Exeter, Judgement Night will now take place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on April 5.

Night Seven – March 15

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Michael Smith v Peter Wright

Simon Whitlock v Daryl Gurney

Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross

Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen

Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson

 

Night Eight – March 22

The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic

Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith

Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock

Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld

Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price

 

Night Nine – March 29

The SSE Arena, Belfast

Mensur Suljovic v Gary Anderson

Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen

Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross

Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright

 

Judgement Night – April 5

Echo Arena, Liverpool

Gary Anderson v Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright

Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith

Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price

 

Latest standings

P W D L Leg +/-   Pts
1 Michael Smith 4 4 0 0 14 8
2 Michael van Gerwen 4 3 0 1 12 6
3 Simon Whitlock 4 3 0 1 9 6
4 Peter Wright 4 1 2 1 -1 4
5 Rob Cross 4 2 0 2 -4 4
6 Gary Anderson 4 1 1 2 -2 3
7 Raymond van Barneveld 4 1 1 2 -5 3
8 Mensur Suljovic 4 1 0 3 -5 2
9 Daryl Gurney 4 0 2 2 -8 2
10 Gerwyn Price 4 0 2 2 -8 2

 

All images sourced from PA images

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