Live Darts on Wednesday November 14: Grand Slam 2018 Day Five preview and order of play

Cross and Suljovic collide (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The knock-out phase of the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts gets underway in Wolverhampton on Wednesday with four of the world’s top eight players in action.

An enthralling group stage produced a number of high quality contests, including 21 ton-plus averages, with two BDO players among the 16 qualifiers and two players progressing with just two points.

The cross-code major now reaches its business end as the stakes and format increase, with group winners taking on the runners-up.

PDC World Champion Rob Cross reached the Quarter-Finals on his Grand Slam debut 12 months ago, losing out to eventual champion Michael van Gerwen in an epic, and 'Voltage' looks to equal that run by overcoming fellow Premier League star Mensur Suljovic.

Cross stormed to the top of Group H with three consecutive wins and a brace of 98 averages, and will be aiming to kick on over the long format and challenge for a first major title since his crowning glory at Ally Pally on January 1.

Suljovic joined a small band of players in the 11-year history of the Grand Slam to get out of the group on just two points, finishing above Scott Mitchell and Martin Schindler on legs difference.

The Austrian began brightly by defeating Mitchell 5-2 before losing 5-3 and 5-4 to Bunting and Schindler respectively, continuing an indifferent run of form which has seen him suffer early exits in the recent European Championship and World Series Finals.

Suljovic, however, has won four of his last five meetings with Cross, including televised victories at The Masters and Champions League this year.

Another clash of the titans sees last year's Grand Slam runner-up Peter Wright up against European Championship finalist Simon Whitlock.

Wright coasted to top spot in Group E with maximum points despite a tournament average of 92 and is out to add to his superb record in televised competition this season.

The world number two reached ten consecutive televised Semi-Finals between May and October, winning the Melbourne Masters and finishing runner-up in the Champions League and World Grand Prix.

Whitlock secured second spot in Group F after capitalising on a shock defeat for Glen Durrant at the hands of Andrew Gilding by edging past Gerwyn Price 5-4 with the aid of two sensational 170 checkouts and a 108 average.

The Australian ace is now bidding to reach his third Grand Slam Quarter-Final and a first since 2009 but he will need to improve on an alarming head-to-head record which has seen him win just one of his eight meetings with Wright this year.

The opening Second Round tie sees former BDO World Champion Stephen Bunting take on reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh.

Bunting, who came through last week's PDC qualifier in Wigan, maintained his fine record of having progressed as group winner in all three Grand Slam campaigns, picking up six points from six in a tough Group G.

Quarter-finalist on debut in 2014, 'The Bullet' is aiming to reach his first televised ranking Quarter-Final since the 2015 UK Open and will be out to avenge his First Round defeat to dancing Dimitri in last year's World Championship.

Van den Bergh is appearing at this stage of the Grand Slam for the first time after finishing runner-up in Group H with a tournament average of 98 so far.

The German Masters finalist has typically thrived in front of the TV cameras over the past 12 months and will feel he has a golden chance to reach only his second major Quarter-Final here.

International Open champion Gerwyn Price aims to end the debut run of Players Championship event winner Josh Payne.

Price has enjoyed a superb return to form in recent months, reaching the Quarter-Finals of the World Grand Prix and European Championship and Semi-Finals of the World Series.

The passionate Welshman topped Group F with two wins from three and will be looking to draw upon his vast experience over the best of 19 format in a bid to deny the youngster.

Former World Youth finalist Payne has given a fine account of himself on his Grand Slam debut, edging through as Group E runner-up despite just one win from his three fixtures.

He is appearing in the Last 16 of a televised major for the first time since November 2016 and will be eyeing a significant scalp against the world number ten.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.

Grand Slam of Darts 2018 Match Schedule

Wednesday November 14 

Second Round

7.15pm Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh
8.15pm Gerwyn Price v Josh Payne
9.15pm Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
10.15pm Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock

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Live Darts on Wednesday November 14: Grand Slam 2018 Day Five preview and order of play

The knock-out phase of the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts gets underway in Wolverhampton on Wednesday with four of the world’s top eight players in action.

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