2018 Unibet Premier League Darts – Rob Cross vs Michael van Gerwen Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 3rd May

Where? Arena Birmingham

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.theticketfactory.com

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

CAREER HEAD-TO-HEAD
Rob Cross 2-9 Michael van Gerwen

ROB CROSS

  • Rob Cross could already be guaranteed a top four spot before he takes to the stage for this match. If Daryl Gurney fails to beat Michael Smith then Cross will be sure of his place in the play-offs, while if Gurney defeats Smith then Cross will only need a point from his remaining two matches.
  • Cross is without a win in his last three Premier League matches but has only lost twice during his last 12 Premier League fixtures. Last week in Manchester he led Raymond van Barneveld 5-3 and then trailed 6-5 before recovering to take a point.
  • At last weekend’s two Players Championship tournaments he lost in the last 32 on both Saturday and Sunday. He was defeated 6-5 by Ryan Joyce on Saturday and was whitewashed 6-0 by Martin Schindler on Sunday.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN

  • Michael van Gerwen picked up three points from his matches against Daryl Gurney and Michael Smith in Manchester last Thursday evening to book his place at The O2 on May 17 for the play-offs. Van Gerwen now knows that a win against Cross would guarantee that he finishes at the top of the table for the sixth consecutive season.
  • His 7-1 victory over Michael Smith ended a run of three games without a win in the tournament – although that match also saw Van Gerwen average under 100 for the first time in the 2018 Premier League.
  • Van Gerwen claimed his ninth tournament win of the season when he won a Players Championship tournament last Saturday. He failed to make it a double success though as he lost in the Sunday tournament in the quarter-finals to Jonny Clayton.

THE PREDICTION

This battle between the world number one and the current world champion is sure to be an unmissable clash. The last time they faced each other was back on night one of the 2018 Premier League when Van Gerwen comfortably won 7-2 on Voltage’s Premier League debut. Although there are league points at stake, a big motivation for Van Gerwen will surely be to prove he is without doubt the number one. Cross can obviously defeat Van Gerwen on the big stage as he has proved but he isn’t quite playing at the levels he was when he won the world title back in January. Expect Cross to push Van Gerwen hard but Mighty Mike should come out on top in a top-quality tussle.