Peter Wright (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Premier League Darts: Predictions for the new season and opening night betting tips, accas, order of play & TV time


The 2021 Unibet Premier League Darts gets under way on Monday night so check out our season tips, match-by-match predictions, best bets and a suggested acca.

***PREVIEW WRITTEN BEFORE GERWYN PRICE WAS REPLACED BY JAMES WADE DUE TO COVID-19 TEST ***

Darts betting tips: Premier League

  • 2pts Peter Wright to win Premier League at 11/2 (Betway)
  • 1pt e.w Nathan Aspinall to win Premier League at 22/1 (Boylesports 1/3 1,2)
  • 1pt e.w Rob Cross to win Premier League at 40/1 (General 1/3 1,2)

Sky Bet odds - two places | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Scroll further down for night one selections and accas


It sums up how unpredictable 'behind closed doors darts' has been over the past 12 months that last year's Premier League champion and runner-up are among the favourites to be relegated this season.

And the two favourites to lift the trophy didn't even make the 2020 play-offs!

Glen Durrant and Nathan Aspinall both defied the odds to enjoy stunning debut campaigns - with the eventual winner also becoming just the third player in history behind Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen to top the regular season table back in September - but since then the wheels came off for both. Duzza much more so than Aspinall, however.

By contrast Gerwyn Price brushed off a third successive season of Premier League disappointment to win the biggest title of them allbefore finally opening his account for this season at the recent Super Series, although van Gerwen hasn't exactly silenced his critics since his failure to qualify for the play-offs for the first time in his career.

MVG, who is marginal favourite to win the Premier League for a fifth time at 9/4 ahead of Price (5/2) and 2/1 to top the table like he did in seven of his eight previous campaigns, did pick up a major trophy at the Players Championship Finals back in November but he's currently enduring the longest title drought at the start of a season since 2012. Mind you, he did opt to take a holiday and miss the most recent four tournaments since the UK Open but the winning habit remains broken.

Elsewhere, we have three debutants this season in Dimitri Van den Bergh, Jose de Sousa and Jonny Clayton because they all won maiden major trophies at huge odds since last summer.

Van den Bergh became the first debutant to win the World Matchplay at 200/1 and while de Sousa was a more realistic and fancied champion of the Grand Slam of Darts, Clayton ran out a brilliant winner of the season-opening Masters at 150/1, beating MVG along the way.

The Ferret has maintained his incredible form by winning two of the eight Players Championship events this year as well as reaching a further two finals and his seasonal average of 98.78 is higher than anyone else in the Premier League field - so you'll never see him at those three-figure prices for a long time. If ever.


2021 Super Series averages (Eight events)

  1. Clayton: 98.78 (39 matches)
  2. Price: 98.55 (23 matches)
  3. Van Gerwen: 98.31 (14 matches)
  4. De Sousa: 98.30 (22 matches)
  5. Wright: 97.94, (27 matches)
  6. Van den Bergh: 96.92 (11 matches)
  7. Anderson: 94.74 (16 matches)
  8. Cross: 94.61 (19 matches)
  9. Aspinall: 92.93 (21 matches)
  10. Durrant: 90.16 (17 matches)

The only question mark hanging over Clayton's head right now is Premier League inexperience - although that didn't harm Duzza and Aspinall - while for everyone else it's inconsistency at best or no form whatsoever at worst.

Apart from Clayton and Price, Peter Wright is the only player in the line-up to win a title or contest a final in 2021 having brilliantly stormed to the most recent Players Championship title with a spectacular overall average of 102.90, which was the sixth highest for a tournament winner since 2018. Incidentally, it just about eclipsed Price's 102.89 from two days earlier.

Snakebite has weighed in with nine 100+ averages from his last 12 games and suddenly his lacklustre start to the campaign which was littered with disappointing low averages (including one of 76.50!) seems a distant memory. He's been talking a good game - as always - and we all know he's one of those players capable of producing dazzling runs of form, just like the one that propelled him into the play-offs last season.

This year's format of clustered batches of fixtures (April 5-9, April 19-22, May 5-7, May 24-28) does obviously require more mental stamina and sustained consistency than in the pre-Covid Premier League of Thursday nights but given the title isn't decided until May 28, the form book on Finals Night might be a lot different to what it is now.

Therefore, I think there's reason to take a little stab at two of the contenders currently being overlooked in Aspinall and Rob Cross.

The Asp is among the players to have suffered most from the lack of atmosphere to fire him up at majors while he's found 100+ averages hard to come by in all events since the play-offs. In fact he's only managed it once in 2021 believe it or not.

He even changed his darts after the world championship as he felt the colder empty arenas were causing him grip issues and vowed never to use his old ones again - but he revealed this week that a defeat to Lisa Ashton at the recent Super Series prompted him into a U-turn. The result? A 107 average in his very next match...which he remarkably still lost.

Two more below-par days followed as he tried to get used to his 'old faithfuls' again and after some sustained practice with an updated version that will help alleviate the grip issues, he's confident we'll see a more confident Aspinall back on our screens.

He also thrives on being the underdog and embroiling his opponents in those attritional battles - and we could see plenty of those towards the end of each clusters of fixtures.

Cross is very much in the same boat although he's been struggling to remind fans of his best for a lot longer and comes into the season as a clear 40/1 outsider for glory. The fixture list hasn't been kind either, with de Sousa, Price, MVG and Clayton his first four matches and a poor start would really pile on the pressure for the so called 'easier' games.

However, the former world champion feels no weight on his shoulders this time and has recently spoken about how his resolved family problems have put him in a much happier place this season than in a forgettable 2020.

We saw an encouraging glimpse of what he can do during the UK Open when he averaged 102 in defeat to eventual champion James Wade despite missing 21 of his 28 darts at doubles, while fellow Sporting Life columnist and analyst Paul Nicholson, who keeps a more astute eye on the Pro Tour than most experts while on commentary duty for the PDC, has been encouraged by clear improvements in his technique and stability at the oche.

He has no problems dealing with an underdog tag - as we saw during his runs to Ally Pally and World Matchplay glory - and although I appreciate it seems a rather big leap of faith to take him for glory based on his current form, he's moving in the right direction and I've seen a lot bigger shocks in darts than this Voltage finishing in the top four and giving himself a shot.

I think the price on any of the players to finish in the top four are too skinny - Cross is 7/2 - so that's why I'm throwing more caution to the wind in the outright market.

Premier League Night One: April 5

Click on the odds for more Sky Bet match markets

Nathan Aspinall (11/10) v Glen Durrant (7/4), draw (3/1)

  • Head-to-head: 2-3 (TV: 2-2)
  • Meetings since start of 2020: 1-2 (TV: 1-2)
  • Last Meeting: 8-11 (Premier League final, October 2020)
  • Career PDC Titles: 5-3 (TV: 2-1)
  • PDC Titles this season: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)

A repeat of October's 2020 final is also the clash between the two players most out of form in 2021, although there's been more signs to suggest a change in fortunes is more likely to happen quicker for Nathan Aspinall than Glen Durrant.

The defending champion's seasonal average of 90.16 from the eight Players Championship events is 89th out of all the PDC Tour Card holders and he's only managed nine victories from 17 games - while he was soundly beaten in his opening round games at the televised Masters (6-1 Mervyn King) and UK Open (10-6 Danny Noppert).

He even admitted that he may have pulled out of the Premier League had it started in February due to his struggles - which all started after contracting Covid soon after his Premier League triumph - but if you asked him to choose his opening opponent, he probably would have picked Aspinall or Rob Cross.

However, we've gone into the reasons to be positive about Aspinall earlier in this article so I'm hardly going to back against him on opening night. At 11/10 I feel he's worth sticking in your accas but you can back him at 3/1 to win with more than 2.5 180s and a high checkout of over 80.5, which should be within his grasp.

  • Predicted scoreline: 7-4
  • Suggested bet: Aspinall to win, score over 2.5 180s and a checkout of over 80.5 at 3/1 (Sky Bet)

Rob Cross (2/1) v Jose De Sousa (10/11), draw (3/1)

  • Head-to-head: 1-1 (TV: 0-0)
  • Meetings since start of 2020: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)
  • Last Meeting: 2-6 (Players Championship, April 2019)
  • Career PDC Titles: 9-4 (TV: 4-1)
  • PDC Titles this season: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)

I admit I've taken a huge leap of faith based on current form that Rob Cross could be a title contender and realistically he needs a win as early as opening night considering he's got MVG, Price and Clayton in his next three games.

This won't be easy given Jose De Sousa boasts impressive stats this season to put him in the top five for averages while his 180 per leg rate is higher than anyone else. The Grand Slam of Darts champ is yet to make a final in 2021 but he did narrowly lose 10-9 to MVG at the UK Open after beating Michael Smith by the same scoreline in a thriller and it's no wonder people are backing him to go close on his Premier League debut.

I've already made my case for Cross but my selection for this clash comes in the Match Action market where it's 6/4 that they combine to play more than 10.5 legs, fire over 5.5 180s and produce a checkout of over 101.5 - even if that comes due to De Sousa's maverick finishing.

  • Predicted scoreline: 7-5
  • Suggested bet: Match to have over 10.5 legs, highest checkout to be over 101.5 and over 5.5 total 180s at 6/4 (Sky Bet)

Peter Wright (5/4) v Jonny Clayton (6/4), draw (3/1)

  • Head-to-head: 6-2 (TV: 2-1)
  • Meetings since start of 2020: 1-2 (TV: 1-1)
  • Last Meeting: 10-11 (Masters, February 2021)
  • Career PDC Titles: 35-7 (TV: 8-2)
  • PDC Titles this season: 1-3 (TV: 0-1)

Jonny Clayton is very much the man of the season so far having backed up his tremendous Masters win at 150/1 with a string of stunning performances on the floor which have helped him reach four more finals, winning two of them.

The World Cup win with Gerwyn Price last year - in which he played an equal role - seems to have been the catalyst for a career that promised so much but didn't seem certain to take off.

Peter Wright's sloppy early season form means he's lagging a little behind on the overall stats charts but he's definitely catching up in the wake of the most recent Super Series, where he won 13 of his 16 matches and posted nine 100+ averages.

He seems to be peaking at just the right time to make a superb start to the Premier League campaign and he'll have to hit the ground running to deal with the Ferret, who certainly doesn't seem the sort who'd be bothered by 'debut nerves' in an empty arena.

I'm siding with Wright and if it's a close game of high standards, then he should hit the below Player Performances targets with easy. The toughest bit will be the victory.

  • Predicted scoreline: 7-4
  • Suggested bet: Wright to win, score over 2.5 180s and checkout over 80.5 at 9/4 (Sky Bet)

Gerwyn Price (4/5) v Gary Anderson (5/2), draw (3/1)

  • Head-to-head: 8-9 (TV: 6-4)
  • Meetings since start of 2020: 3-3 (TV: 3-1)
  • Last Meeting: 6-2 (Players Championship, February 2021)
  • Career PDC Titles: 19-46 (TV: 6-15)
  • PDC Titles this season: 1-0 (TV: 0-0)

Gerwyn Price is going to take some stopping in this year's Premier League and he's already put this tournament at the top of his wishlist for 2021 - aside from retaining the world title of course.

He's come along way from his debut season in 2018 when he finished 10th without a victory and claimed he hated it but two fifth-placed finishes in the past two years means he's still yet to reach the play-offs.

Price will come out all guns blazing in a repeat of the world championship final, where he tamed Anderson with an unbelievable display until some finishing line wobbles took the shine of his stats, and form wise he appears capable of similar after a relatively slow start to the campaign which could have been down to the media limelight.

Anderson made it clear on numerous occasions during and after his Ally Pally run that he would be taking 2021 a lot more seriously and while he's not been particularly great on the floor this season - despite a victory over Price in the first Players Championship event of the season - we know the stage is where the real Flying Scotsman turns up.

However, Price looks stronger right now and I also recommend throwing the most 180s into a double at 6/4 considering he outscored him in that department in the Ally Pally final (13-10) as well as a higher 180 per leg ratio for the tournament and this season so far.

  • Predicted scoreline: 7-5
  • Suggested bet: Price to win with most 180s at 6/4

Michael van Gerwen (8/11) v Dimitri Van den Bergh (11/4), draw (3/1)

  • Head-to-head: 6-1 (TV: 0-0)
  • Meetings since start of 2020: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)
  • Last Meeting: 6-1 (German Darts Open, April 2019)
  • Career PDC Titles: 138-1 (TV: 55-1)
  • PDC Titles this season: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)

Quite hard to believe this is the pair's first ever televised meeting and their first of any kind since a European Tour event back in April 2019, so let's immediately draw a line through the head-to-head record.

Michael van Gerwen will be rested but possibly a little rusty after opting to skip the most recent batch of Players Championship events which means he hasn't been seen since Luke Humphries thrashed him 11-5 in a quite incredible UK Open semi-final, averaging 107.41 compared to the Dutchman's 106.27.

MVG was left to rue miss nine missed doubles out of 14 as Humphries pinned 11 of his 16 but overall, he enjoyed an ominous return to form that weekend with which makes it a little surprising he didn't want to contend for titles in the second Super Series last month.

Van den Bergh, by contrast, has endured an awful start to the season results wise, losing all but three of his 11 Players Championship matches while he suffered the earliest possible exits at the Masters and UK Open.

He didn't have much form to shout about ahead of the World Matchplay last season so I wouldn't be too surprised if he throws the form book out of the window against MVG on his Premier League debut but I'm going to have to side with MVG on the handicap.

  • Predicted scoreline: 7-3
  • Suggested bet: MVG (-2.5 legs) at 11/10

Premier League Darts 2021: Dates, fixtures & venues

Night 1, April 5
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Nathan Aspinall v Glen Durrant
  • Rob Cross v Jose de Sousa
  • Peter Wright v Jonny Clayton
  • Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson
  • Michael van Gerwen v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Night 2, April 6
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Gary Anderson v Jose de Sousa
  • Jonny Clayton v Glen Durrant
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Nathan Aspinall
  • Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
  • Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross

Night 3, April 7
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Rob Cross v Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
  • Nathan Aspinall v Gerwyn Price
  • Jose de Sousa v Jonny Clayton

Night 4, April 8
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Peter Wright
  • Jonny Clayton v Rob Cross
  • Jose de Sousa v Nathan Aspinall
  • Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
  • Gary Anderson v Glen Durrant

Night 5, April 9
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Gary Anderson v Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright v Rob Cross
  • Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Aspinall
  • Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jose de Sousa

Night 6, April 19
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
  • Jose de Sousa v Gerwyn Price
  • Jonny Clayton v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Glen Durrant v Michael van Gerwen
  • Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright

Night 7, April 20
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Glen Durrant v Jose de Sousa
  • Rob Cross v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Nathan Aspinall v Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
  • Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Night 8, April 21
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
  • Gary Anderson v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Michael van Gerwen v Jose de Sousa
  • Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright v Glen Durrant

Judgement Night, April 22
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Jonny Clayton v Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant v Rob Cross
  • Jose de Sousa v Peter Wright
  • Nathan Aspinall v Gary Anderson
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Gerwyn Price

Night 10, May 5
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 11, May 6
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 12, May 7
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 13, May 24
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 14, May 25
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 15, May 26
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Night 16, May 27
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

Play-Offs Night, May 28
Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
Finals (Best of 21 legs)

CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL TOURNAMENT GUIDE INCLUDING RESULTS, TABLE & HISTORY

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