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29 Mar 2018 by HUGZ

2018 Unibet Premier League Darts – Raymond van Barneveld vs Michael van Gerwen Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 29th March

Where? The SSE Arena, Belfast

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Action

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Are tickets still available? www.ssearenabelfast.com

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

CAREER HEAD-TO-HEAD
Raymond van Barneveld 18-33 Michael van Gerwen (1 draw)

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

  • Raymond van Barneveld enjoyed a comprehensive 7-1 victory against Peter Wright last Thursday in Glasgow. He currently sits in fourth place in the league table, one point ahead of Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock.
  • The win against Wright was Barney’s third of the 2018 Premier League season, and all of those wins have come against the current bottom three players in the table – Suljovic, Wright and Price.
  • His match average of 99.76 last week was his second highest of the tournament so far and it was only the second time he has averaged over 94 in the 2018 Premier League.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN

  • League leader Michael van Gerwen blitzed Michael Smith 7-2 last time out to register his fifth consecutive win in the Premier League. He lost the opening two legs against Smith before finding his form and winning seven legs in a row whilst allowing Smith only one dart at a double during those seven legs.
  • He has dropped a total of only 14 legs in the process of winning his last five Premier League matches – that’s an average of 2.8 legs per match.
  • Last weekend he picked up his seventh tournament win in 2018 when he won the European Darts Open. In the final, he recovered from a 5-1 deficit against Peter Wright to win 8-7.

THE PREDICTION

Two Dutch darting legends face-off in what is always an unmissable fixture. Raymond van Barneveld may not have produced his best form week in, week out in the 2018 Premier League but he is capable of lifting his game to trouble Van Gerwen and he will be massively motivated at having the opportunity to topple his compatriot in front of a big crowd.

Van Gerwen looked his usual assured self when winning the European Darts Open last weekend. His Premier League form is excellent and although he might not at the absolute peak of his game he is still playing at a higher standard than everyone else. Barney will press van Gerwen all the way but the younger Dutchman has the knack of producing when it matters and it would be brave to back against him racking up his sixth consecutive Premier League win.