Simon Whitlock 2-11 Daryl Gurney
Simon Whitlock was defeated 7-4 by Michael van Gerwen last Thursday and has now lost each of his last two Premier League matches after having started the 2018 Premier League season with three consecutive wins.
Whitlock’s match average of 92.28 against Van Gerwen was his second lowest of the 2018 Premier League season; since averaging 106.49 in week one he has failed to produce an average of over 95 in his last four Premier League matches.
At last weekend’s two Players Championship tournaments, he lost 6-5 in the opening round on both Saturday and Sunday. Overall, he has lost each of his last six matches in all competitions.
Last week in Leeds, Daryl Gurney missed the chance to register his first win of the 2018 Premier League season when he squandered two match darts against Gary Anderson and in the end had to settle for a 6-6 draw. Gurney has now drawn three of his five Premier League matches this season and in all three of those drawn matches he was in the driving seat only to let the lead slip.
Gurney’s checkout percentage against Anderson was 28.6%, which incidentally is also his tournament checkout percentage which is the lowest in the league.
He didn’t enjoy much success at the two Players Championship tournaments last weekend. On Saturday he lost to Jeffrey de Graaf in the last 32 and on Sunday he exited the tournament in the first round to Simon Stevenson.
Simon Whitlock has seen his form dip after an excellent start to the Premier League season. He has lost his last six matches in all competitions and really needs to try and turn things around as soon as possible. Daryl Gurney has been punished for some poor finishing in his Premier League campaign so far, but he has certainly had enough chances to win legs and his heavy scoring should continue to create opportunities.
The head-to-head record between the pair could prove to be a factor in the outcome of this encounter. Gurney has won 11 of their 13 past meetings which includes victories in the final of the 2017 World Grand Prix and the quarter-finals at the 2017 UK Open. Gurney may be lacking confidence on his doubles but he should feel confident against an opponent he has had good success against.
This could well be the week where the Northern Irishman gets his first win of the Premier League season.
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