Peter Wright enjoyed a fantastic 7-5 win over reigning Premier League champion and world number one Michael van Gerwen last week in Cardiff; Wright took his opportunities well and punished some key missed doubles by Van Gerwen to earn the two points.
Wright’s overall performance in week two was much better from that in his week one draw against Gerwyn Price as was shown in his match stats; his match average, checkout percentage and 180 count all showed an improvement.
Wright made it through to the semi-finals on both Saturday and Sunday in last weekend’s UK Open qualifying tournaments, thus meaning he has made the semi-final in four of the six PDC ranking tournaments played so far this month.
Rob Cross had a torrid time against Simon Whitlock last week, producing a poor performance which resulted in a 7-1 defeat leaving him without a point and with only three legs won from his opening two fixtures.
Cross averaged under 86 for the majority of the match against Whitlock and when he did get rare opportunities to win legs, he squandered them. Overall, he hit just one of his nine attempts at taking out a double.
The form of Cross was much improved last weekend at the UK Open qualifiers where he reached one final and a further two semi-finals, and in all three tournaments he was defeated by the eventual champion.
The two players currently ranked second and third in the PDC Order of Merit square off in what should be an enthralling encounter. Wright had the massive boost of defeating Van Gerwen last Thursday; he did ride his luck a little in that match with Van Gerwen missing chances but Wright crucially held his nerve when it mattered.
Last week against Whitlock, Cross probably produced his poorest performance since joining the PDC, and it left him on a six-match losing streak in all competitions. This run was stopped over the weekend however, where Cross produced some excellent darts across three days to go deep into all three tournaments that were played. He also enjoyed a win over Peter Wright in the semi-finals of one of those tournaments.
There is nothing to split these two on their previous head-to-head record with them both having won three apiece of their six meetings, and there is a good chance there will be nothing to split them here with a possible draw on the cards in a high-quality tussle.