Michael van Gerwen lost in the Premier League Darts last week and Dan Fitch thinks he will take it out on William O'Connor, as he previews the Thursday night action from Dublin.
"So far the challengers have struggled to make much of an impact - Fallon Sherrock excluded - and it looks like a tough task for O’Connor this week."
Premier League Darts
Thursday 27 February
Live on Sky Sports Action
We have a new leader of the Premier League, after Michael van Gerwen's 7-5 defeat to Nathan Aspinall saw the reigning champion slip from the top and Glen Durrant take his place.
Van Gerwen nevertheless remains the [1.5] favourite to win the regular season and is [2.02] to win the Premier League as a whole. Durrant is one of only two players to still be unbeaten after three games (W2 D1) but remains an outsider to win the competition at [15.0].
Debutants dare to dream
Glen Durrant [2.6] v Nathan Aspinall [2.36]; The Draw [4.0]
Expected start 19:15
With Durrant beating Gary Anderson and Aspinall coming out on top against MVG last week, these two Premier League debutants have shown that they're not just here to make up the numbers.
When you analyse their performances, there's not much to choose between them, with both scoring heavily and finishing clinically. The stat that does stand out though is that despite being top of the Premier League, Durrant has the joint lowest number of 180s. Back Aspinall to score the most 180s at [2.1].
Value with Cross is even encounter
Rob Cross [2.88] v Gary Anderson [2.16]; The Draw [4.1]
Expected start 19:55
Rob Cross and Anderson have identical records so far (P3 W1 D1 L1). It's arguably Cross that has had the tougher fixtures, so even though Anderson has started the season well, these odds look a little skewed.
Anderson played well in defeat to Durrant last week, while Cross was flattered by his 7-5 loss to Wright. Perhaps that explains why Anderson is a relatively heavy favourite, but with Cross a capable and committed performer, the value is with him in the Draw No Bet market at [2.2].
Smith has found form
Daryl Gurney [2.82] v Michael Smith [2.2]; The Draw [4.1]
Expected start 20:35
Daryl Gurney got his first point on the board last week with a 6-6 draw against Gerwyn Price in which he played much better than in previous weeks.
Yet with Michael Smith recording a 7-1 win over the challenger Jonny Clayton, he looked the player most in form. For the second week in a row he hit the highest checkout of the night and his Premier League average is second only to Van Gerwen at 100.88. Smith is [5.0] to score the highest checkout, most 180s and win the match.
Luck not with Irish against MVG
William O'Connor [6.4] v Michael van Gerwen [1.35]; The Draw [6.0]
Expected start 21:15
With Thursday's action taking place in Dublin, it is the Irishman Willie O'Connor that takes on the role of challenger this week. So far the challengers have struggled to make much of an impact - Fallon Sherrock excluded - and it looks like a tough task for O'Connor this week.
MVG will be wounded after his defeat to Aspinall. This could be a heavy victory in response to that loss and Van Gerwen looks value at [3.5] with -4.5 in the handicap market.
Price becomes a draw specialist
Gerwyn Price [2.64] v Peter Wright [2.32] ; The Draw [4.1]
Expected start 21:55
Along with Durrant, Gerwyn Price is the only undefeated player in the Premier League, but he won't be happy after recording three consecutive draws.
Not that a draw would be a bad result against the world champion Peter Wright. 'Snakebite' claimed his first win against Cross last week and is a decent price to claim his second here, considering that he's the player in the better form. Wright is [1.83] in the Draw No Bet market.
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Back Aspinall to score more 180s than Durrant at [2.1]
Back Cross draw no bet against Anderson at [2.2]
Back Smith to score the highest checkout, most 180s and win against Gurney at [5.0]
Back Van Gerwen -4.5 against O’Connor at [3.5]
Back Wright draw no bet against Price at [1.83]