Michael van Gerwen 34-18 Raymond van Barneveld (1 draw)
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN
Last night in front of a home crowd in Rotterdam Michael van Gerwen lost 7-5 to Peter Wright for the second time in the 2018 Premier League. The defeat against Snakebite ended a run of eight consecutive wins in the Premier League for the world number one.
It certainly wasn’t a poor performance from Van Gerwen in defeat against Wright. His match average of 106.87 was his second highest average of the 2018 Premier League campaign and he also had a checkout percentage of 50%. Exceptional timing and finishing from Wright was the difference.
Van Gerwen comes into night 12 with a two-point lead at the top of the table. Rob Cross could go level with Mighty Mike if he defeats Peter Wright in the match prior to this one but Van Gerwen would still have two games in hand.
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
Raymond van Barneveld halted a run of four consecutive losses when he defeated Simon Whitlock 7-3 last night in front of a vociferous crowd in Rotterdam. He is now aiming to win back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time this season.
Barney posted a match average of 101.4 against Whitlock, his highest average of the 2018 Premier League season so far.
His chances of making the play-offs are still extremely slim; he starts the night four points behind fourth-placed Michael Smith and that lead could be extended by the time Barney takes to the stage for this match.
This is without doubt the highest profile match of the evening - a clash between two Dutch darting legends in front of a big crowd in Rotterdam. The match is made all the more intriguing due to their respective results last night with Barney gaining confidence from his win and Van Gerwen having to bounce back from defeat.
As mentioned previously, Van Gerwen didn’t play poorly in his defeat against Wright and it will probably take an improved performance from Van Barneveld to topple the world number one. Van Gerwen took advantage of some poor finishing from Barney to win 7-2 when they met on night eight and the younger Dutchman has won 11 of their last 13 meetings.
It is rare that Van Gerwen loses back-to-back matches in the Premier League and although Barney will push him hard, the extra gear that Van Gerwen possess should be the difference.