Barney’s a really cracking bet for me. I was talking to his manager the other day, and he told me how they’ve geared the season around doing well in the Premier League, and maybe even winning it.
This is his final year on the professional circuit. He was the 2014 Premier League champion, he’s proved he can do it before. He crashed out in the second round of the World Championship and was very upset about that, so he’s been back on the practice board heavily for this.
James reached the Masters final, he’s in good form at the moment, but I think Barneveld at 9/5 looks too good a price. If you want to go for a correct score, 7-3 is a massive 8/1, so it’s Barney all the way for me.
Gerwyn Price has got problems at the moment. He got a £21,500 fine for his behaviour in the Grand Slam against Gary Anderson where he was celebrating in his face.
He’s frightened that he might face a ban if he does that again, but that energy is a big part of his game. they’ve gone in really hard on him with the punishment and he’s going to feel under pressure. The crowd are going to be on his back as well.
He’s the bad boy. He’ll get a hostile reception because of his behaviour at the Grand Slam, so I think he’s going to get beaten by Daryl Gurney.
Mensur Suljovic will have too much for Chris Dobey, but he’s a really decent player.
He’s from Bedlington, just a few miles away from Newcastle, and made the last 16 in the World Championship. He lost 4-3 to Gary Anderson in a match with 28 180s, and 15 of them were his, so a decent bet in this match might be Most 180s for Chris at Evens.
He’s a real 180 machine.
The crowd’ll be on his side, being from Northumberland and it’s in Newcastle.
This is a big ask for Michael Smith. He was beaten by MVG in the Premier League Final last year, beaten in the World Championship final as well.
He’s seeking revenge for those two defeats, but Michael Van Gerwen is just a machine at the moment. Even his C game is better than most people’s A game, so he doesn’t need to even play near his best and he’ll win this one.
I’m looking at Michael Smith to put up a bit of a fight, 7-4 MVG’s way is 7/2 with Paddy Power.
It’s difficult to predict this because both are playing pretty poor darts at the moment. In 2018’s Premier League, Wright finished seventh, but two of the matches he won were against Michael van Gerwen, unbelievably. He’s got the experience, with this his sixth consecutive appearance in the league. In 2017 he reached the final, but he’s not as good a player as he was then.
Cross made his debut last year. He did alright, played in some good matches and finished fourth in the table qualify for the playoffs. He lost to MVG in the last four.
He had a disappointing World Championships, came in as world champion and crashed out. Wright was a disappointment too there, so it’s difficult to predict a winner, but I think Peter Wright’s experience on the big stage should be enough for him. It’ll be a tight game though. It could be 7-5 to Snakebite Wright, which is 17/2.
Dave’s Nap of the Night:
Barney’s focused. A lot of people have criticised him getting selected for the Premier League, a lot of people thought he shouldn’t be in there. His back’s to the wall, he’ll want to prove a point. It’s his final year on the professional circuit, he retires after the World Championship.
James Wade could buckle if the crowd gets on his back. Barney’ll be the big favourite in Newcastle. At 9/5, Barneveld victory is my bet of the night.