The Premier League Darts is back and the highlight will be Peter Wright's rematch with Michael van Gerwen, with Dan Fitch backing the world champion to score the most maximums.
"Wright scored the most 180s against Van Gerwen at the Ally Pally when he became world champion."
Premier League Darts
Thursday 6 February
Live on Sky Sports Action
The Premier League Darts season for 2020 begins on Thursday night at the P & J Live arena in Aberdeeen. Nine participants and a rotating cast of challengers will give darts lovers five matches to savour on each night, during the first phase of the competition.
Here's this week's previews and tips.
Opener could go long
Michael Smith 2.3411/8 v Glen Durrant 2.68/5; The Draw 4.77/2
Expected start 19:15
The darting action begins with a match that promises to be tight, as Michael Smith takes on Glen Durrant.
Since the three-time BDO World Champion Durrant made the move to the PDC at the start of 2019, the pair have met five times, with Smith just edging it with three wins to Durrant's two. They've all been competitive affairs in which no one has been outclassed, so we could see this one go all the way, with over 11.5 legs available at 2.111/10.
SuperChin is being underestimated
Gary Anderson 2.1411/10 v Daryl Gurney 2.942/1; The Draw 4.47/2
Expected start 19:55
Gary Anderson returns to the Premier League with a potentially tough match against Daryl Gurney, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament last year.
Gurney appears to be underrated here and the value could lie with him at these odds. The pair have a 50/50 record against each other with eight wins apiece and one draw from 17 encounters. Back Gurney at 2.35/4 in the Draw No Bet market.
Snakebite can outscore MVG again
Michael van Gerwen 1.9620/21 v Peter Wright 3.39/4; The Draw 4.67/2
Expected start 20:35
This is clearly the match of the night, as the Premier League's dominant player Michael van Gerwen takes on the man who beat him in the World Championship final on New Year's Day.
Peter Wright followed that triumph by lifting the Masters title on Sunday. It's therefore 'Snakebite' that's in the better form, but it's hard to dismiss MVG's superb record in the Premier League. The compromise is to back Wright to score the most 180s at 2.35/4, as he did against Van Gerwen at the Ally Pally when he became world champion.
New boy Nathan can handle initiation test
Nathan Aspinall 1.981/1 v John Henderson 3.412/5; The Draw 4.57/2
Expected start 21:15
This week's challenger is John Henderson, who comes from Aberdeen, will have the crowd on his side and enjoyed a 6-6 draw against Van Gerwen in his home city last year.
It could therefore be a difficult debut for the Premier League newcomer Nathan Aspinall, but he's shown that he can handle the big occasion. Aspinall has reached the semi-finals of the last two World Championships, won the UK Open last year and narrowly lost in the semis of the Masters last weekend. Class could tell with an Aspinall win at 1.981/1.
Top players struggle for form, but maximums should land
Gerwyn Price 2.021/1 v Rob Cross 3.185/40; The Draw 4.77/2
Expected start 21:55
Neither Gerwyn Price or Rob Cross will be happy with their performance at the Masters. Price was well beaten by Anderson in the quarter-finals, while Cross was knocked out in the first match by Adrian Lewis.
With Price perhaps a little deflated after losing in the semi-finals of the World Championship and Cross not playing well since lifting the European Championship in October, this is a tough one to predict. Play it safe and back over 5.5 180s at 1.84/5, which looks assured in a match between two heavy scorers.
Dan Fitch Darts P/L 2020
Staked: 51.00 pts
Returned: 53.87 pts
P/L: +2.87 pts
Back over 11.5 legs between Smith and Durrant at 2.111/10
Back Gurney draw no bet against Anderson at 2.35/4
Back Wright to score more 180s than Van Gerwen at 2.35/4
Back Aspinall to beat Henderson at 1.981/1
Back over 5.5 180s between Price and Cross at 1.84/5