Wayne Mardle's predictions on this week's Premier League action from Aberdeen
Big John Henderson will be rocking all over the world as a 'contender' in his native Scotland on Thursday; watch live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Thursday
Last Updated: 07/03/19 10:16pm
Premier League Darts is back on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event, featuring the must-win clash between Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright. Wayne Mardle looks into his crystal ball...
Michael Smith takes on Rob Cross in a repeat of their UK Open semi-final at the weekend which Voltage won, while Daryl Gurney takes on James Wade, Mensur Suljovic tackles Gerwyn Price and Van Barneveld meets Wright.
The final match of the night will see John Henderson in action against reigning Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen. It's a night of action simply not to be missed!
Wayne runs the rule over five titanic tungsten contests, live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm.
Mardle in Exeter
|Mardle's Verdict||Actual Result|
|4-7||Humphries vs Price||6-6|
|7-5||Gurney vs Cross||1-7|
|7-5||Suljovic vs Wright||7-4|
|7-4||Van Gerwen vs Wade||3-7|
|7-5||Smith vs Van Barneveld||7-4|
Michael Smith vs Rob Cross
I thought Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price were the stand-out performers of the UK Open and I was quite surprised, even though he was injured, that he didn't win it. I'm going to go for Smith to win this clash with Rob Cross because I think that final may have taken a little bit of confidence away from Rob.
Cross was just starting to do something right and last Thursday before the UK Open he played great against Daryl Gurney. I just wonder whether that weekend in Minehead has knocked him a bit, but I hope not.
Wayne's score prediction: Smith to win 7-5
Daryl Gurney vs James Wade
I'm struggling what to make of Daryl right now because he came out the first couple of weeks of the Premier League looking all business, really good, but he's just gone missing in the last week or so.
We know form comes and goes, we're not that silly to think that they're robots. I just think James Wade is playing better than Daryl Gurney and as this game goes I can see it being a game of limited chances and on that premise I have got to go for Wade.
Wayne's score prediction: Wade to win 7-4
Mensur Suljovic vs Gerwyn Price
Nathan Aspinall pulled out the leg of the tournament to get the job done against Price in the semi-finals at the weekend. I think this is a real tough call.
Mensur Suljovic over the last few weeks in the Premier League has looked a bit rugged, he's looked like he's kind of finding it a little bit of hard work and I kind of felt that in the UK Open as well.
I'm going to go for a Gerwyn Price win but it wouldn't surprise me if it ends in a draw.
Wayne's score prediction: Price to win 7-5
Raymond van Barneveld vs Peter Wright
I have absolutely no idea what to make of Peter Wright. He played brilliant in the UK Open against Mensur Suljovic, averaging 106, and he was unlucky to get beat because he played superbly all the way through. I think that was the best Wright has played in a long time, but he still couldn't win.
I hope he hasn't mentally retired already because if he has then he will find getting any win in the Premier League an absolute chore.
Mardle on RVB
Wright is odds-on favourite against Barney purely because Barney is as out-of-sorts as I think we've ever seen him. I hope he hasn't mentally retired already because if he has then he will find getting any win in the Premier League an absolute chore.
I'll be very surprised if Barney doesn't pull off a win soon whether it be this week or by week nine. Both men are desperately struggling.
Wayne's score prediction: Wright to win 7-5
Michael van Gerwen vs John Henderson
John Henderson has beaten Michael van Gerwen on the big stage before at the World Grand Prix. I believe Van Gerwen wins this, I believe he wins every single time but obviously that's not going to happen.
I didn't like the way Michael played against Mervyn King at the UK Open. He felt he was just going to turn up and win, there wasn't any urgency in his game when there should have been. I don't want Michael to get complacent because he gets beat then. I just wonder if he got complacent against King?
I see Michael winning this but I think there might be a few hairy moments where he needs to hold himself together and show some urgency.
Mardle on MVG
He didn't get outplayed by James Wade last Thursday in Exeter - he got out-finished in the opening four, five legs, and then he panicked a little whereas Wade didn't. I see Michael winning this but I think there might be a few hairy moments where he needs to hold himself together and show some urgency.
Wayne's score prediction: Van Gerwen to win 7-4
Wayne Mardle was speaking to Sky Sports' Raz Mirza. The Premier League heads to the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen on Thursday, March 7. 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