This week is the culmination of a long PDC Premier League of Darts tournament which began way back in February in Newcastle with nine players competing, after Gary Anderson’s last-minute withdrawal due to injury. Over the next couple of months, the nine players competed along with one Wild Card entry in each of the first 8 weeks of games before Raymond van Barneveld was eliminated.

The remaining eight players then contested phase 2 over weeks 9 to 15 and at the end of that period, just four players qualified for the playoffs which take place this Thursday night at the 02 Arena in London.

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Before we reveal the lineup for the final week of games, let’s first review how the final night of action in Phase 2 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds panned out in what proved to be a night of big performances and crucial wins.

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PDC Premier League of Darts – Week 15 Review

  • Gerwyn Price 8-3 Peter Wright

Welshman Gerwyn Price moved himself into contention for a place in the last four with a battling win over the out of form Peter Wright. The Scot has endured a miserable Premier League season and this loss ensured that he finished eighth in the table with just two wins from 16 games and a great deal of work to do for the remainder of the season. Price now needed Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic to draw or lose their games in order to stand a chance of progressing.

  • Daryl Gurney 8-3 Michael Smith

Daryl Gurney’s improved form in the latter stages of this tournament continued in the second game where his 8-3 win over Michael Smith saw him eliminate Gerwyn Price from the tournament. Gurney had started the Premier League in poor form but a vastly improved series of performances saw him climb up the table and with this win, he moved into third spot in the table. The fact he also won by five legs meant that Mensur Suljovic was effectively eliminated before he had even thrown a dart in his game, which was the next one up in the evening.

  • Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Mensur Suljovic

Suljovic battled hard but in the end, the Premier League leader Michael van Gerwen proved his quality with another victory, which confirmed he would finish at the top of the table if Rob Cross lost or drew the final game of the night against James Wade. The Dutchman, a multiple winner of the event, was not in top gear but still proved too strong for the Austrian earning a comfortable victory.

  • James Wade 8-6 Rob Cross

Both players came into this game knowing they were qualified for the playoffs, but much was still at stake. A win for Wade would move him into third and drop Gurney to fourth while ensuring van Gerwen would win the league and Cross would finish second and that is precisely what happened in what was a rather lower scoring game than others on the night with Wade just doing enough to clinch a narrow win. The two will now meet again in the semifinals at the 02 Arena this week.

PDC Premier League of Darts Playoffs – Preview

This week, the two semifinals and the final will be contested at the 02 Arena in London once again and the action begins with second seed Rob Cross facing third seed James Wade in a best of 19 leg semifinal, a rematch of their game last week in Leeds.

This will then be followed by Michael van Gerwen facing Daryl Gurney in the second semifinal with the Dutchman hoping to earn a revenge win over the Irishman who beat him 8-5 at the Manchester Arena on May 2.

Premier League Darts Champions

Only five players have ever won the Premier League Darts Championship and two of them are contesting in the semifinals again this year. Michael van Gerwen has won all of the last three and has won four in total and he has reached all of the last six finals (since 2013). James Wade is the only other winner of this event still in the field, though his win came ten years ago in 2009.

Only Phil Taylor (6 wins), Gary Anderson (2 wins) and Raymond van Barnebeld (1 win) have also won this tournament since it was first contested back in 2005. The final will be contested over the best of 21 legs with the first to 11 being declared the winner.

Premier League Darts Playoffs Tips

  • Michael van Gerwen (1/5) v Daryl Gurney (7/2)

Of course, van Gerwen has an incredible record in this event and he is the current holder and has been for the last three years, but Daryl Gurney beat him a couple of weeks ago in Manchester and also beat him in Berlin on Week 7 and the Irishman is arguably the most in form player left in the tournament. The longer format will suit van Gerwen more but I think Gurney has the chance of a real upset here and at 7/2, I think there will be plenty of punters who, like me, will be backing the Irishman to land the win here.

  • Rob Cross (8/13) v James Wade (13/10)

These two have met twice in the tournament already and have shared the spoils, Rob Cross winning comfortably 7-4 in Week Two, before Wade’s 8-6 victory last week in Leeds. There’s little to choose between the two players and both have been very consistent in this tournament. Cross may have the slight edge in scoring and checkout success percentage but in truth, this one will be decided by who plays the best darts on the day and for me, it is as close to a 50/50 call as you can get. Cross may be the bookies choice, but I think Wade’s form of late has been just the better and I’m backing him to land another big win here.

Who wins the Final?

  • Van Gerwen – 8/15
  • Cross – 4/1
  • Wade – 13/2
  • Gurney – 11/1

It is rare that I ever back the outside in a four horse race, especially one that is rated as an 11/1 chance to win the tournament, but I think Daryl Gurney is not just the best value bet, but the player most in form out of all the four players competing. As such, I think if he can get past Van Gerwen, he can win this tournament.