2018 Unibet Premier League Darts – Raymond van Barneveld vs Rob Cross 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
Raymond van Barneveld 0-4 Rob Cross

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

  • Raymond van Barneveld rose to the occasion in Rotterdam last week when he defeated Simon Whitlock on Wednesday and backed that up with a tremendous 7-5 win over world number one Michael van Gerwen on Thursday.
  • The triumphs over Whitlock and Van Gerwen gave Barney back-to-back wins for the first time in the 2018 Premier League.
  • His four-point haul from Rotterdam kept his play-off chances alive, but he needs a win against Rob Cross in this match to still have a chance of breaking into the top four before the end of the season, and even if he does win this match his fate is still out of his own hands.

ROB CROSS

  • Rob Cross could secure his place in the play-offs with a victory over Raymond van Barneveld in this clash. Voltage sits in third place in the league table and is only a point behind the league leader Michael van Gerwen, though he has played one game more than the Dutchman.
  • Cross has picked up one point from his last two Premier League matches. Last Thursday in Rotterdam he had to settle for a 6-6 draw against Peter Wright despite having led 5-2.
  • The power scoring from Voltage during his defeat to Gary Anderson and draw against Peter Wright last week was below-par by his lofty standards – his first nine dart average in those encounters were his second and third lowest match totals during the 2018 Premier League.

THE PREDICTION

Raymond van Barneveld enjoyed the perfect homecoming last week in Rotterdam with two wins from two matches including a memorable triumph over Michael van Gerwen. It’s back down to earth for Barney this week and the question is can he get himself motivated to the same level as he did last week. Rob Cross hasn’t been hitting his best form over the last couple of weeks both in and away from the Premier League, however, he is in a strong position to clinch a play-off spot and has only lost two of his last 11 Premier League matches.

Cross may have a psychological edge due to the fact he has a 100% winning record against Barney across their previous four meetings but the two wins last week will have given Barney a much-needed confidence boost. Expect Barney to push Voltage all the way to a final leg but he might have to make do with a draw which would most likely end the Dutchman’s play-off hopes for 2018.