Live Darts on Thursday May 10: Premier League Darts Aberdeen preview and order of play

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Anderson celebrates against Van Gerwen (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The final week of round-robin action sees the elite eight Premier League stars head to Aberdeen on Thursday with the final play-off place up for grabs.

The sport's most prestigious invitational has toured the UK and Ireland over the last four months, as well as Berlin and Rotterdam, and now heads to its final calling point prior to finals night.

All roads lead to London's O2 Arena next Thursday, where the top four players in the league table will battle it out for the trophy and the £250,000 winner's cheque.

Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Rob Cross have already secured their spot in the Semi-Finals, leaving Gary Anderson and Daryl Gurney to jostle for the final play-off place.

Anderson has destiny in his own hands knowing that at least a point from his match in Aberdeen will be enough to see him through, though his task is a formidable one as he gets set to face runaway league leader MVG.

Gurney must defeat the eliminated Peter Wright and rely on an Anderson defeat and a 12-leg swing if he is to pull off the seemingly impossible and gatecrash the top four.

Having embarked on a four-match winning run, Anderson has since suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats and will be determined to resume normal service and head to The O2 on a high.

The 2011 and 2015 Premier League champion will be backed by a partisan Scottish crowd at the BHGE Arena as he aims to record a first win over his Dutch rival for 12 months and avenge his 7-3 defeat in the reverse fixture back in February.

Van Gerwen's emphatic 7-2 victory over Cross with a 111 average last week confirmed him as league winner for the sixth season running and means he will scoop the £25,000 bonus.

The world number one, however, will see the job as only half done as he bids to go on and lift this title for a fourth time and take his tally for the season to eleven.

Van Gerwen romped to victory at the weekend's European Grand Prix, recording three consecutive averages in excess of 109 on the final day and will look to punish any signs of weakness from the home favourite in Aberdeen.

Gurney has not been inside the top four throughout his debut Premier League campaign but will still harbour hopes of ousting Anderson if he can apply the pressure with a heavy win over Wright.

The World Grand Prix champion, however, has drawn more matches (seven) than any other player in the competition, including each of his last two outings, and it is that failure to convert draws into wins which may prove his Achilles' heel.

Wright, last year's beaten finalist, is playing for pride in his homeland after mustering just four wins from his 15 matches so far and victory here would guarantee he does not finish bottom of the pile.

The opening match of the night sees this season's surprise package Michael Smith take on 2014 Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld.
 
Smith has enjoyed a remarkable return to the competition after missing out last year and a win here would mean he ends the group phase in second spot and avoids a Semi-Final show-down with Van Gerwen.

The world number eight has two ranking titles to his name this year as well as a further two final appearances, but after being struck down with illness in recent weeks, may find it tough going against crowd favourite RVB.

Despite being level with Gurney on 15 points, Van Barneveld's inferior legs difference means he is unable to catch Anderson regardless of this week's results, though the veteran Dutchman will be determined to end the campaign on a high.

Van Barneveld has won three and drawn one of his last four league matches and holds fond memories of this venue, having landed a nine-dart finish here eight years ago.

World Champion Rob Cross aims to end a four-match winless run and avoid finishing fourth in the table by overcoming Simon Whitlock.

Cross has drawn two and lost two of his last four fixtures but could still finish as high as second should he win and Smith lose on the night.

Should Anderson better Cross' result, that would mean the Hastings ace would finish fourth and face a daunting Semi-Final clash with defending champion MVG in a week's time.

Whitlock, meanwhile, must better Wright's result in order to avoid finishing bottom of the table, having been in the top four as recently as Week Nine.

The 2012 Premier League finalist inflicted a 7-1 rout on an out of sorts Cross back in Week Two and with no pressure on his shoulders, will be out to record a memorable double.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 12 legs at the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen.

Unibet Premier League 2018 Schedule


Thursday May 10

7.15pm Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld
8.00pm Simon Whitlock v Rob Cross
8.45pm Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney
9.30pm Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson



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Live Darts on Thursday May 10: Premier League Darts Aberdeen preview and order of play

The final week of round-robin action sees the elite eight Premier League stars head to Aberdeen on Thursday with the final play-off place up for grabs.

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