On night 14 of the Premier League, Dan Fitch argues that Glen Durrant should be favourite over a struggling Michael van Gerwen, as he previews Thursday's action...
"MVG has now lost four of his last six Premier League games, which includes a 7-3 defeat to Durrant."
Premier League Darts - Night 14
Thursday 3 September
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Could the unthinkable really happen? Michael van Gerwen is a five-time winner of the Premier League, which includes each of the last four tournaments, but he now faces the threat of not making the play-offs in 2020.
MVG's 8-1 thrashing at the hands of Peter Wright saw him slip out of the top four and into fifth. Now he faces a tough match against the Premier League leader Glen Durrant.
It says much for Van Gerwen's reputation and achievements that even in such a precarious position, he remains the favourite to win the tournament at 4.3100/30. Durrant is 4.84/1, with Gary Anderson at 4.94/1 and Wright at 5.14/1.
Price can bounce back
Gerwyn Price 1.738/11 v Daryl Gurney 4.03/1; The Draw 5.59/2
Start time 19:15
Gurney's 8-6 defeat to Anderson on Wednesday saw his hopes of making the play-offs come to an end. He may find it hard to motivate himself over the next three games, especially against opposition like Price, who is still in the fight.
Price was far from his best as he lost 8-6 to Nathan Aspinall, but if he wins this one he will move up to third and put pressure on his rivals for a top four place. Back Price to claim a valuable victory at 1.738/11.
Magnificent Anderson will win again
Gary Anderson 2.35/4 v Michael Smith 2.546/4; The Draw 5.24/1
Start time 20:00
Smith looked certain to beat Durrant on Wednesday, only to let a 7-2 lead turn into a 7-7 draw. 'Bully Boy' has just not been consistent enough this year and though he could mathematically make the play-offs, it doesn't seem that realistic now.
Anderson is second in the table, only three points behind Durrant and has two recent wins over Smith, beating him in the World Matchplay semi-final and the Premier League last week. Anderson can claim another two points at 2.35/4.
Aspinall will score heavy in class encounter
Peter Wright 2.021/1 v Nathan Aspinall 3.185/40; The Draw 5.24/1
Start time 20:45
Both these players won on Wednesday and moved back into the play-off places. With the likes of Van Gerwen, Price and Smith not far away behind, it's a vital match that neither will want to lose.
Aspinall has a 4-3 lead in past encounters. The result is too close to call, but in what should be a competitive game of high quality, Aspinall looks too big at 5/6 on the Sportsbook to record an average of over 96.5. Since the Premier League returned, he has beaten that total in five of his seven matches.
Durrant should be favourite on current form
Glen Durrant 2.77/4 v Michael van Gerwen 2.285/4; The Draw 5.04/1
Start time 21:30
Durrant played poorly in his 7-7 draw with Smith, with his finishing way off the standards that we have grown to expect from him. Yet in fighting back from 7-2 down to draw, at a time when he was struggling with his game, Durrant showed the battling qualities that have made him such a success in the Premier League.
There is no reason for Van Gerwen to be favourite here, based on current form. MVG has now lost four of his last six Premier League games, which includes a 7-3 defeat to Durrant. You can back Durrant cautiously in the Draw No Bet market and still get odds of 2.26/5.
Dan Fitch Darts Premier League P/L 2020
Staked: 61.00 pts
Returned: 48.10 pts
P/L: -12.90 pts
Back Price to beat Gurney at 1.738/11
Back Anderson to beat Smith at 2.35/4
Back Aspinall to average over 96.5 against Wright at 5/6
Back Durrant draw no bet against Van Gerwen at 2.26/5