The Premier League Darts bandwagon heads to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on Thursday night and we have match-by-match predictions, best bets and suggested accas.
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Germany hosts a Premier League night for the second year running but for the first time they'll have a home favourite to cheer on as this week's 'Contender' Max Hopp makes his debut against Raymond van Barneveld.
A victory for the young Maximiser would be almost catastrophic for Barney's hopes of prolonging his final campaign beyond next Thursday's Judgement Night while the action all begins with leader Rob Cross taking on Gerwyn Price.
As usual, I'lI run through all all five fixtures, complete with head-to-head records, season stats so far, match verdicts, suggested bets and accas - plus a reminder of how the table looks.
Premier League Night Seven: Thursday March 21
Click on the odds for more Sky Bet match markets
- TV Coverage: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Format: Maximum of 12 legs
Treble: Cross, Wright and Barney all to win at 11/1
Four Fold: Cross, Wright, Smith and Barney all to win at 24/1
Draw no bet accas: Both the above accas at 5/1 and 10/1 respectively
2019 PL Average: 96.78 - 101.30
Best Average: 104.11 - 103.96
Tournament 180s: 20 - 16
Checkout %: 44.16% (34/77) - 45% (36/80)
High Checkout: 147 - 164
Meetings since start of 2018: 1-3
PDC Titles Since Start of 2018: 4-2
Career Titles: 6-7
It would be extremely harsh to say the wheels are starting to wobble for Gerwyn Price but perhaps one of them has a slow puncture after a minor blip in his season.
The 2018 Grand Slam of Darts champion and winner of two Players Championship events this season suffered his first Premier League defeat last Thursday when slumping to a 7-2 defeat to Michael van Gerwen.
After all the hype he just couldn't get anywhere near his A game which was a real shame considering MVG was well below his best too, especially in the first half before the Dutchman finally got it together under no pressure.
Price did go on and reach his fourth Players Championship semi-final of the season on Saturday before his 19-match unbeaten run on the ProTour was ended by runner-up Daryl Gurney but the next day he went out early doors.
Rob Cross, by contrast, is arguably starting to reach full stride performance-wise as he recorded his fifth 100+ average of the Premier League campaign with a 7-3 victory over Barney which took him top.
He was going really well on Saturday too until he ran into eventually winner Dave Chisnall, who averaged an almost unstoppable 108 against him.
He pulled out of Sunday's event as he felt under the weather but it'll take a lot more than a cold to knock him off course.
Score Prediction: 4-7
Suggested bet: Cross to win and hit 4+ 180s at 11/4
2019 PL Average: 101.30 - 99.04
Best Average: 109.59 - 106.64
Tournament 180s: 19 - 18
Checkout %: 47.89% (34/71) - 44.44% (36/81)
High Checkout: 158 - 150
Meetings since start of 2018: 2-2
PDC Titles Since Start of 2018: 2-2
Career Titles: 30-22
James Wade's momentum has been knocked off course in the space of a week and Peter Wright will be looking to take full advantage.
The Machine was sitting pretty at the top after he followed up his 7-3 triumph over MVG with a 7-0 trouncing of Daryl Gurney a fortnight ago, but his ruthless finishing deserted him last week against Mensur Suljovic and he then suffered a poor weekend in both Players Championship events.
Snakebite didn't fare much better in Wigan but he should be one point better off than Wade in the Premier League had he somehow not spurned a 6-3 lead against Gurney despite averaging a superior 102.
Wright does have a strong record in Germany although it must be said Wade's last trip there towards the end of 2018 did see him win the European Championship.
It's quite a tough one to call but I think Wright is playing marginally better at the moment and could sneak it.
I like the price of 11/4 about him to win, score over 2.5 180s and have a checkout of over 81.5. They are modest targets in a match which may go far.
Score Prediction: 5-7
Suggested bet: Wright to win, score over 2.5 180s and checkout of over 81.5 at 11/4
2019 PL Average: 100.08 - 96.29
Best Average: 104.98 - 100.05
Tournament 180s: 15 - 11
Checkout %: 43.53% (37/85) - 36.23% (25/69)
High Checkout: 132 - 140
Head-to-head: 18-3 (1 draw)
Meetings since start of 2018: 8-1-1
PDC Titles Since Start of 2018: 2-1
Career Titles: 120-3
Michael van Gerwen may have bounced back from a rough couple of weeks with a resounding victory scoreline-wise against Gerwyn Price last Thursday, but his actual performance didn't silence many critics.
Both players made painfully poor starts on the scoring fronts and even though MVG finally found his range, it was only enough to improve his average up to around 96.
Price failed to apply pressure with a host of missed doubles so I don't think there's any reason for Daryl Gurney to be fearful.
After all, their last meeting was that epic climax to the Players Championship Finals, which Gurney won to claim his second TV title and effectively seal his Premier League spot.
The 2017 World Grand Prix champion had lost 12 and drawn one of his last 13 matches with MVG but managed to break this mental block despite averaging 96 to the Dutchman's 100.
The key was just hanging in their and showing tremendous battling spirit - even though at one stage their averages were 10 points apart.
This experience is still fresh in Gurney's memory and he knows exactly what to do if MVG, who didn't play at the weekend, fires on all cylinders.
Also, the Northern Irishman's comeback from 6-3 down to draw 6-6 with Wright last week was a real morale booster after winning just one leg in his previous two Premier League encounters, and he went on to reach a Players Championship final on Saturday.
I wouldn't put anyone off going for a shock Gurney win at 7/1 but the safer option is siding with him on the handicap at 7/4 with a 2.5+ legs start.
Score Prediction: 7-5
Suggested bet: Gurney (2.5+ legs) to win at 7/4
2019 PL Average: 96.50 - 98.63
Best Average: 100.21 - 101.38
Tournament 180s: 19 - 16
Checkout %: 43.42% (33/76) - 43.24% (32/74)
High Checkout: 150 - 121
Meetings since start of 2018: 1-1
PDC Titles Since Start of 2018: 3-2
Career Titles: 11-5
Michael Smith is still spluttering in about second gear but his crucial - if not spectacular - victory over Nathan Aspinall last Thursday does keep him within touching distance of the top four.
Bully Boy is only two points off the trio of players on seven from third to fifth and if he overcomes Mensur Suljovic in a distinct clash of styles, he could well find himself fourth by the end of the night.
Smith, whose high point this season came when playing through the pain barrier to reach the UK Open semi-finals, suffered early exits in both Players Championship events at the weekend so he'll be eager to bounce back on the big stage.
Suljovic skipped both events having claimed an important victory over James Wade in the Premier League and he'll be looking forward to the closest he gets to a 'home fixture' in this tournament.
I think Smith will edge what should be an entertaining affair that goes the distance. Try over 11.5 legs, a high checkout of 121.5 or more and over 5.5 180s at 5/1.
Score Prediction: 7-5
Suggested bet: Match to have over 11.5 legs, high checkout of 121.5 and over 5.5 180s at 5/1.
2019 PL Average: N/A - 92.76
Best Average: N/A - 95.36
Tournament 180s: N/A - 13
Checkout %: N/A - 40% (26/65)
High Checkout: N/A - 104
Meetings since start of 2018: 0-1
PDC Titles Since Start of 2018: 2-0
Career Titles: 3-41
Last but certainly not least is potentially the tie of the night as home favourite Max Hopp makes his Premier League bow against Raymond van Barneveld.
The Maximise has been a leading figure in the growth of darts in Germany so it really was a no brainer for him to be selected as one of the 'Contenders' to replace Gary Anderson.
Although the Flying Scotsman would have been a tougher test for Barney, the legendary Dutchman did admit in an interview with the Sporting Life Darts Podcast earlier this season that meeting Hopp in Berlin would be a big advantage to the youngster and likened it to when Germany play the Netherlands at football.
However, there's no way Barney will get a hostile reception even if he isn't getting the lion's share of support for a change.
He desperately needs his first Premier League victory of the season to keep alive his hopes of avoiding relegation after next week's Rotterdam double-header - but to do so he simply must improve on recent performances.
There were some positive signs on Sunday that he might be discovering some lost form when reaching his first ranking final since 2015, only to lose to Adrian Lewis.
Hopp, 22, won't be fazed by the pressures of the big German crowd having won a European Tour event on home soil last year and also reaching the semi-finals of the European Championship in Dortmund - although he did seemingly choke in the latter against James Wade.
Looking ahead to his debut, he told The Darts Show Podcast: "Raymond has always been my childhood idol. When I started out, the first set of darts I bought were Raymond’s so it will be a dream come true to play him in front of a home crowd.
"It's a really important game for Barney because if he loses, he could be in real trouble so there will be mixed feelings from me if I win."
Hopp, who hasn't enjoyed a great season so far, shouldn't really be thinking like that and I really think this could be a great opportunity for Barney.
You can get him at 5/2 to win as well as hitting over 1.5 180s and have a checkout over 80.5. They are pretty tame targets to meet.
Score Prediction: 4-7
Suggested bet: Barney to win, hit over 1.5 180s and have a checkout over 80.5 at 5/2
2019 Premier League Darts Table
- Cross P 6 W 4 D 1 L 1 LegD +12 Pts 9
- Van Gerwen P 6 W 4 D 1 L 1 LegD +12 Pts 9
- Wade P 6 W 3 D 1 L 2 LegD +7 Pts 7
- Wright P 6 W 2 D 3 L 1 LegD +3 Pts 7
- Price P 6 W 2 D 3 L 1 LegD +2 Pts 7
- Suljovic P 6 W 2 D 2 L 2 LegD -1 Pts 6
- Smith P 6 W 2 D 1 L 3 LegD 0 Pts 5
- Gurney P 6 W 2 D 1 L 3 LegD -10 Pts 5
- Van Barneveld P 6 W 0 D 2 L 4 LegD -14 Pts 2