Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Gary Anderson and Rob Cross will contest the Premier League Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7pm.
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
The second semi-final sees world champion Rob Cross take on reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen, who is bidding to secure a third successive triumph at the O2 Arena.
The pair contested an epic World Championship semi-final clash at Alexandra Palace, as ‘Voltage’ prevailed in a pulsating sudden-death leg en route to sealing world title glory.
MVG v Cross PL H2H
- Night 1- Dublin: Van Gerwen 7-2 Cross
- Night 14- Birmingham: Cross 2-7 Van Gerwen
However, Van Gerwen has beaten Cross 7-2 in both of their league meetings this season, and posted an average of 111.57 against him in Birmingham a fortnight ago – the highest average registered in this year’s competition.
Cross is without a win in his last five league outings and was forced to pull out of the Dutch Darts Masters through injury, while Van Gerwen secured his 11th title of the year in Zwolle over the weekend. An ominous task awaits the world champion…
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
It is Master vs Apprentice in the first semi-final at the O2 Arena on Thursday night, as Michael Smith takes on his close friend and mentor Gary Anderson.
Smith defeated an injury-plagued Anderson 7-5 in the opening week of league action, but ‘The Flying Scotsman’ made amends by thrashing Smith 7-2 in Rotterdam, averaging almost 110 in the process.
Smith only lost five games throughout the season to confirm second spot in the table, but all of those defeats came against his Play-Off rivals, with Van Gerwen and Cross completing the double over ‘Bully Boy’.
Smith v Anderson PL H2H
- Night 1 – Dublin: Anderson 5-7 Smith
- Night 11- Rotterdam: Smith 2-7 Anderson
The St Helens star has also been suffering with pleurisy, therefore it remains to be seen whether or not he will be fighting fit ahead of his first appearance in the Play-Offs.
Anderson has enjoyed an up-and-down campaign, but clinched third spot after defeating Van Gerwen 7-5 in Aberdeen in the final week of league action. He has made the Play-Offs in the last five seasons and has won six of his last seven meetings with his protege. Who will come out on top?
Van Gerwen/Cross v Smith/Anderson
The final takes place later on Thursday night, when Van Gerwen or Cross will play Smith or Anderson for the right to be crowned 2018 Premier League Darts champion.
Van Gerwen and Anderson are the seasoned veterans of this event, with MVG looking for a fourth Premier League crown – his other success came in 2013 – while ‘The Flying Scotsman’ is hoping to secure his third Premier League triumph after wins in 2011 and 2015.
In stark contrast, Smith and Cross are making their first Play-Off appearances. Smith has excelled on his return to the Premier League fold having suffered elimination in 2016, while Cross was the only one of four debutants to make the top four.
The tungsten action continues for the conclusion of the Premier League season with the Play-Offs on Thursday, May 17 at The O2 in London.
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