Gary Anderson 15-30 Michael van Gerwen (2 draws)
Gary Anderson shrugged off his back problems last week with a dominant 7-3 win over Gerwyn Price; from 2-1 down he won six of the next seven legs to seal the victory and bounce straight back from his opening week defeat against Michael Smith.
His final match average against Price was just under 100 but prior to the final leg of the match he was averaging 104 which shows the standard he was playing at, overall a huge improvement on the 82.46 average he posted against Smith a week earlier.
Anderson carried his form across to last Friday when he won seven matches in a row to win a ranking tournament, and on his way to that triumph he won a very high-calibre match against Rob Cross in the semi-finals. He did go on to lose in the first round in ranking tournaments on both Saturday and Sunday though.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen suffered a rare Premier League defeat last week when he went down 7-5 to Peter Wright. Missed doubles proved to be the downfall of Van Gerwen, as he lost four legs in which he had attempts at doubles.
Van Gerwen averaged 101.12 against Wright, an average which was higher than the one he registered during his week one victory over Rob Cross. Overall, his tournament average of 100.98 is the second highest after two weeks of play. Despite his missed doubles against Wright, his tournament checkout percentage is still 46.2% which is also the second highest of the ten Premier League participants.
He comes into this week having chosen to have last weekend off, having already secured his passage through to the UK Open finals.
This is a match which always catches the attention and is a clash which has produced mesmeric performances from both players in the past. Michael van Gerwen will have been licking his wounds following his defeat against Peter Wright and will be very determined to get straight back to winning ways. Anderson looked a lot more comfortable last week with his back not troubling him as much and the fact he played seven matches on Friday shows that he is managing his injury a lot better due to the treatment he is receiving.
Although Anderson has tasted success against Van Gerwen in big matches and on big stages, his overall record against the Dutchman is not great and in fact he has only won two of his last 13 matches against Van Gerwen. The back may be less of a problem but Anderson is probably still not quite at the level he needs to be at to topple Van Gerwen this week.