2018 Unibet Premier League Darts – Michael Smith vs Michael van Gerwen Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 26th April

Where? Manchester Arena, Manchester

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Main Event, 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.eventim.co.uk

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

CAREER HEAD-TO-HEAD
Michael Smith 5-20 Michael van Gerwen

MICHAEL SMITH

  • Michael Smith plays world number one Michael van Gerwen in the final match of the evening by which time he will already have taken to the stage to face world number two Peter Wright.
  • A victory for Smith over Wright coupled with Gurney losing to Van Gerwen would mean that Smith faces Van Gerwen having already secured his place at the O2 arena in May for the finals night. If Smith loses to Wright and Gurney manages to overturn Van Gerwen then the pressure will be very much on Smith as his lead over Gurney would be down to one point.
  • Smith has a 6-1 victory against Van Gerwen to his name in 2018 having defeated the Dutchman in the quarter-final at a UK Open qualifier back in February.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN

  • Van Gerwen is closing in on first place for the sixth Premier League season in a row and could cement his top spot placing in Manchester this evening. He will have faced Daryl Gurney prior to playing Michael Smith.
  • A defeat for Van Gerwen against Gurney along with wins for Anderson and Cross could actually mean that Mighty Mike is in third place prior to this match against Smith.
  • Van Gerwen trounced Smith 7-2 when they met earlier in the 2018 Premier League, and when they played in the 2016 Premier League he recorded a record average of 123.40 during a 7-1 victory over the man from St Helens.

THE PREDICTION

Both players will have already played earlier in the evening but how much bearing that has on their mentality and confidence remains to be seen. Whatever happens in the earlier matches, Michael van Gerwen will still rightfully start this match as a big favourite.

Smith has enjoyed a good Premier League season so far and looks likely to make the top four but he hasn’t performed well enough week on week to suggest he can topple the reigning champion on the Premier League stage.