Sky Live: Premier League Darts Night Seven in Berlin
The action gets underway live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Thursday, as Max Hopp makes his Premier League bow on home soil
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 21/03/19 10:36pm
The Premier League roadshow rolls into Berlin for Night Seven, as Max Hopp makes his Premier League debut on home soil against five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Barneveld is still searching for his first win in this year's competition, while Hopp is bidding to become the first 'contender' to register a victory. Elsewhere, league leaders Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross take on Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price respectively.
Gerwyn Price vs Rob Cross
Head-to-head record: Price 2-3 Cross
The evening's action gets underway with an intriguing clash between in-form duo Price and Cross.
Price, who won back-to-back Players Championship titles last month, suffered his first defeat of the season at the hands of Van Gerwen last week, which saw 'The Iceman' slip outside of the top four via legs difference.
Cross has recorded three successive league wins for the loss of just seven legs; easing past Gurney, Michael Smith and Van Barneveld over recent outings, as he tops the table alongside Van Gerwen.
'Voltage' has posted five ton-plus averages in his first six matches, with his solitary blip coming on Night Three against MVG. The 2018 world champion thrashed Price 7-1 in their only previous Premier League meeting 12 months ago, but the Welshman is a completely different animal in 2019.
James Wade vs Peter Wright
Head-to-head record: Wade 18-17 Wright
James Wade and Peter Wright are both looking to preserve their top-four spots as they collide in the second match of the night at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Wade suffered a disappointing 7-3 reverse against Mensur Suljovic in Nottingham, having beaten Van Gerwen and whitewashed Gurney in the two weeks prior, but 'The Machine' still occupies third spot as he bids to reach the play-offs for the first time since 2013.
Despite enduring an inconsistent start to his campaign, Wright has only suffered the solitary defeat and averaged 106 and 103 respectively in his recent meetings against Van Barneveld and Gurney.
Wright has won each of his last four Premier League clashes against Wade, but the nine-time major winner did edge out 'Snakebite' in their most recent tussle in the Masters semi-finals last month.
Michael van Gerwen vs Daryl Gurney
Head-to-head record: Van Gerwen 18-3 Gurney
Van Gerwen halted his winless run with an emphatic 7-2 victory over Price in Nottingham. However it was far from a vintage MVG performance, with his average languishing in the 70s after the opening four legs.
'The Green Machine' rallied in the closing stages of the contest and returned to the Premier League summit via legs won against throw, as he bids to top the league phase for the seventh successive year.
Gurney recovered from 6-3 down against Wright last week to claim a crucial point, having won just one leg from his previous two league fixtures against Cross and Wade respectively.
The Northern Irishman currently sits three points above the drop zone and although Van Gerwen dominates the head-to-head record, Gurney won their last showdown- stunning the World No 1 to seal Players Championship glory in Minehead.
Michael Smith vs Mensur Suljovic
Head-to-head record: Smith 6-8 Suljovic
Smith and Suljovic are two players on an upward trajectory after registering two victories from their last three matches.
Both players failed to win any of their opening three fixtures, but Suljovic is now just one point off a play-off spot having recorded impressive wins over Wright and Wade.
'The Gentle' was eliminated on his Premier League debut 12 months ago despite boasting the second-highest tournament average, but he's just one win away from confirming his safety ahead of Judgement Night.
Smith currently occupies seventh spot, but wins over Van Barneveld and 'contender' Nathan Aspinall have seen last year's Premier League finalist move three points clear of safety, as he bids to avoid elimination for the second time in his career.
Max Hopp vs Raymond van Barneveld
Head-to-head record: Hopp 2-2 Van Barneveld
Night Seven concludes with a potential barnstormer as home hero Hopp takes on Van Barneveld, who faces an uphill task to avoid elimination in his farewell Premier League campaign.
Hopp is the seventh contender to enter the fray in this year's Premier League and he'll relish the opportunity of showcasing his ability in front of 12,000 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as he faces his childhood idol RVB.
Van Barneveld is competing in his 14th consecutive Premier League - more than any other player. Nevertheless, the legendary Dutchman has accumulated just two points from six matches and is three points adrift of safety with Judgement Night looming.
This will be the fifth meeting between the pair - the fourth on German soil. Their most recent showdown saw Van Barneveld beat Hopp 4-0 in the 2018 World Cup of Darts and Barney must surely repeat the feat to keep his survival hopes alive.
The Premier League heads to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin on Thursday, March 21. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts