Mensur Suljovic 4-8 Michael van Gerwen
Mensur Suljovic starts night nine in the elimination zone having lost six of his eight Premier League matches this season. Realistically, he needs a win here to put pressure on Peter Wright who will face Daryl Gurney in the final match of the night, and regardless of what Suljovic does here, a win for Peter Wright would end any hopes of survival for the Austrian.
Although Suljovic faces possible elimination from the 2018 Premier League, his tournament average and tournament checkout percentage statistics are amongst the highest in the league; his tournament average being the second highest and his checkout percentage being the third highest.
A negative aspect for Suljovic throughout the campaign has been the quality of his opponents' finishing. Overall, his opponents have hit 58.2% of their attempts at doubles.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
Michael van Gerwen maintained his lead at the top of the table with a 7-2 win over fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld last Thursday night in Belfast – his sixth consecutive Premier League match win.
His average of 104.5 against Barney was his third highest of the 2018 Premier League campaign and extended his run of averaging over 100 in all of his Premier League matches this season.
Van Gerwen tasted yet more success last weekend when he won the German Darts Grand Prix. He has now won eight tournaments this year and has won an incredible 62 of his 66 matches played during 2018.
Mensur Suljovic has the huge task of facing world number one Michael van Gerwen as he battles to try and avoid elimination. Suljovic has competed well throughout the campaign so far and has probably deserved to pick up more points than he has actually gained. The Gentle has beaten Van Gerwen four times previously but it is difficult to see him adding to that tally on this occasion.
Van Gerwen has been in excellent winning form during 2018 despite not always being near his peak form, but he can turn on the style in an instant which usually ensures victory.