2019 Unibet Premier League Darts – James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld taking place? Thursday 7th February – 19:00 (UK)

Where is James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld taking place? Utilita Arena, Newcastle

What channel is James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld on? Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports USA

Where can I stream James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for James Wade vs Raymond van Barneveld? https://www.pdc.tv/unibet-premier-league-tickets

THE LOWDOWN

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings:
James Wade 22-25 Raymond van Barneveld (4 draws)
Previous meeting: James Wade beat Raymond van Barneveld 11-2

JAMES WADE

  • The 2009 Premier League champion James Wade makes his return to the tournament after missing the 2018 edition. He cemented a place in this season's Premier League by winning the European Championship and World Series of Darts Finals at the back end of last season.
  • Although Wade has reached the Premier League final on three occasions (2008, 2009 and 2010), he has not made it through to the play-offs since 2013.
  • The Machine made a good start to 2019 by reaching the final of the Masters last weekend, where he defeated Gerwyn Price, Joe Cullen and Peter Wright on his way to the final where he lost out 11-5 to Michael van Gerwen.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

  • Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, the 2014 Premier League champion, is featuring in his 14th successive Premier League season as part of his farewell year on the circuit. The Dutch darting legend has not reached the play-offs since 2015.
  • Barney has slipped down the PDC Order of Merit rankings as a result of cutting back on his playing schedule and as a result he wasn’t in action last weekend at the Masters – it was the first time he has been absent from the event which is an invitational featuring the top 16 ranked players in the PDC.
  • His last competitive match saw him disappointingly lose to Darius Labanauskas in the last 64 at the World Championship last December.

THE PREDICTION

The 2019 Premier League starts with a match between two former champions, with 2009 winner James Wade facing the 2014 title holder Raymond van Barneveld. Although they have met many times, this is only their third encounter since April 2016. The last time they faced-off was last November at the World Series of Darts Finals where Wade enjoyed a comfortable 11-2 victory in the semi-finals on his way to winning the tournament.

Barney cannot be easily written off. He has undoubted class, is still capable of beating the best and will surely be determined to give a good account of himself in his final Premier League campaign, but Wade certainly comes into the game in better form having reached the Masters final last weekend and his more reliable finishing could edge this game in his favour.