Premier League Darts Night 13 Tips: Wade one to watch with O2 spot in sight

James Wade Premier League darts
James Wade is seeking to put MVG under pressure in the Birmingham oche

We're off to Birmingham for the 13th installment of Premier League Darts and with just four weeks to go there's all to play for. James Buttler finds the best bets...

"MVG's Thursday evening opponent is an in-form James Wade who could seriously test the Dutchman's resolve. MVG leads the head-to-head with Wade 34-16. That sounds quite one-sided, but many other players are much further back and Wade knows he can beat the world number one."

Suljovic needs a last push to make The O2

Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
Thursday, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Darts

Michael Smith's 8-5 defeat to Gerwyn Price last week means he won't be competing at The O2 is a few weeks. Stranded at the bottom of the table with just eight points from the 12 rounds played, 'Bully Boy' has been the disappointment of this year's Premier League. He made the final of two Players Championship events this month, he has been well below par since reaching the World final at Christmas.

It may be that now all hope has gone he is freed up to play better darts, but that is no basis for a bet. Smith out-averaged Price last week, but hit only five of 18 checkout attempts and it's his matchplay that has been sub par.

Mensur Suljovic, however, has been competitive throughout this season's tournament and is still right in the hunt for the final four. His 8-5 win over Daryl Gurney did not see great darts from either men. Suljovic's average of 92.45 and checkout rate of 30.77% would not have worried Smith last week. But 'The Gentle' is playing better match darts this season and shouldn't be second favourite ahead of this match. Mensur leads the head-to-head encounters between the pair 9-6 and beat Smith 7-2 in Round 7. He is fifth in the table but with third and fourth both on 14 points too, a win for Suljovic would be a major step towards the showpiece finale.

Best Bet: Back Mensur Suljovic to beat Michael Smith @ 6/4 (1 unit)

Cross can cement top two place with Price win

Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price
Thursday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Darts

Another on 14 points is Gerwyn Price, in fourth place in the current standings. The Welshman faces second place Rob Cross on Thursday knowing a win would put him in a very strong position with three more rounds to play. Price beat Michael Smith 8-5 last week to make it three wins in the last four weeks. He averaged 98.43 in his last win.

Cross has played Price six times and leads the series 4-2 and beat him 7-4 in Round 7. His 8-2 defeat to Michael van Gerwen last week has seen him slip from top spot, but a minimum of two wins from his last four games will guarantee him a berth at The O2. His eight wins from 12 games makes him comfortably worthy of his top two status and he's a realistic 10/11 ahead of this match.

Best Bet: Back Rob Cross to beat Gerwyn Price @ 10/11 (1 unit)

Superchin needs to pass Wright challenge

Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
Thursday, 20:45
Live on Sky Sports Darts

Peter Wright has been floundering from week-to-week during this Premier League season. Even when 'Snakebite' played well he has found a way to drop points. He is in seventh place in the standings and there is no way I can suggest anyone back him, despite playing Daryl Gurney who sits just one place above him. Wright was battered 8-2 by James Wade last week and hasn't claimed a win since he overcame the hapless Raymond van Berneveld in Round 6.

Gurney has a three point advantage on Wright and still has a great opportunity to climb into a top four berth. Two defeats and a draw in the last three weeks have not helped the Northern Irishman's chances but, if he is a realistic semi-final candidate, this is a match he has to win. Despite Wright holding a 14-7 advantage in match-ups with 'Superchin' his form is not remotely backable.

Best Bet: Back Daryl Gurney to beat Peter Wright @ 6/4 (2 units)

MVG keen to retain top spot

James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Thursday, 21:30
Live on Sky Sports Darts

It's not always been vintage Michael van Gerwen this season, but the man who always finishes in top spot has risen to the summit once again. It would take a brave man to bet big on him not staying there. That said, MVG's Thursday evening opponent is an in-form James Wade who could seriously test the Dutchman's resolve. MVG leads the head-to-head with Wade 34-16. That sounds quite one-sided, but many other players are much further back and Wade knows he can beat the world number one.

The 'Green Machine' was back to his best last Thursday as he swept aside the then top-placed Rob Cross 8-2. MVG averaged 107.87 against 'Voltage' and no one can live with that bombardment. Wade also notched an 8-2 win over Peter Wright, although his mid-90s average will need to improve if he is going to be competitive this week. Third-place Wade provides a serious threat and a surprise win would all but secure a place at The O2. I am reluctant to tip Wade to win, but that's where the handicap markets come in to play.

Best Bet: Back James Wade +1.5 legs on the match handicaps against MVG @ 13/8 (2 units)

James Buttler at Premier League Darts 2019

Total Staked: 48.50 units
Total Won: 57.49 units
Profit / Loss: +8.99 units

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