2018 Unibet Premier League Darts – Daryl Gurney vs Raymond van Barneveld Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 1st February

Where? 3Arena Dublin

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Mix

Are tickets still available? www.ticketmaster.ie

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

THE LOWDOWN

CAREER HEAD-TO-HEAD
Daryl Gurney 1-3 Raymond van Barneveld

DARYL GURNEY

  • 2017 World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney is making his Premier League debut in this year’s tournament, and he is currently ranked 5th in the PDC Order of Merit following some excellent performances during 2017.
  • The highlight of Gurney’s career so far came in October 2017 when he won the World Grand Prix in Dublin, one of the major TV ranking tournaments on the PDC calendar. He was without doubt one of the most consistent performers in the big TV ranking tournaments during last year, having also made it through to the semi-finals at the UK Open, World Matchplay and European Championship.
  • As good as his 2017 was, it has to be said that the last two TV tournaments were disappointing for Gurney; he suffered an early defeat at the World Championship to John Henderson and lost in the first round to Gerwyn Price at the 2018 Unibet Masters last weekend.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

  • Dutch darting legend Raymond van Barneveld is appearing in the Premier League for the 13th consecutive season and, following the retirement of Phil Taylor, no current player can match his longevity in the tournament.
  • Barney won the Premier League in 2014, which remains the only time he has managed to reach the final. He failed to make the Premier League Play-Offs in each of the last two years, having finished 7th in 2016 and 6th in 2017.
  • Van Barneveld reached the final of the 2018 Unibet Masters last weekend, with his run to the final notable for a 10-2 win over Peter Wright. In the final, he pushed van Gerwen all the way, eventually losing 11-9 having led 8-5.

THE PREDICTION
Daryl Gurney returns to Dublin where he had his greatest darting triumph to date at the World Grand Prix, and although he will enjoy plenty of support from the crowd here he is up against one of the big crowd favourites on the darts circuit.

Raymond van Barneveld has a big edge in previous Premier League experience and that could be a factor against an opponent who is making his tournament debut. Gurney is also coming into the competition on the back of a couple of disappointing early exits whereas Barney has shown some very good form in his recent matches.

Barneveld’s run to the final at the Unibet Masters last weekend should give him plenty of confidence that he can have a successful 2018, and he can continue his positive start to the year with a win in this match.