Wayne Mardle's predictions on this week's Premier League action from Cardiff
Watch Premier League Darts live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Thursday
Last Updated: 19/04/19 9:54am
Premier League Darts is back on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Action, featuring the headline clash between Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen. Wayne Mardle gazes into his crystal ball...
Eight players are battling it out for four places and four players are currently on 12 points with five weeks to go until the Play-Offs. Who will make it to London?
Table-topper Cross takes on second-placed Van Gerwen in a tungsten showdown, while Mensur Suljovic faces Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith is up against home favourite Gerwyn Price, and Peter Wright tackles an in-form James Wade.
Mardle in Liverpool
|Mardle's Verdict||Actual Result|
|8-3||Rob Cross vs Peter Wright||8-5|
|7-7||Gerwyn Price vs Mensur Suljovic||8-5|
|8-5||James Wade vs Daryl Gurney||7-7|
|6-8||Michael Smith vs Michael van Gerwen||3-8|
Wayne runs the rule over four titanic tungsten contests, live on Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Action from 7pm.
Mensur Suljovic vs Daryl Gurney
I've been studying the table and obviously four of them are on 12 points. You kind of get the feeling with Mensur up against Gurney that every point counts. The closer we get to the Play-Off phase, the more important the games seem to be and this really is a huge match.
Whoever wins, the other person will really be on the back-foot, but I personally think Daryl is going about his business slightly better than Mensur right now. I thought he played excellent against James Wade last week by the way. How he didn't win that, I'm sure he was bitterly disappointed.
I'm going for a Gurney win because last year he seemed to put in a late spurt whereby he didn't wilt and he got close. I expect him to make a late run for it this year. If he can beat Mensur then it would put him in such a good spot.
Mardle on Gurney's chances of making the Play-Offs
Wayne's score prediction: Gurney to win 8-5
Rob Cross vs Michael van Gerwen
I mentioned the points, it's so important. If Cross can beat Van Gerwen then he can even afford a slip-up, maybe a draw in his last four games and still win the league phase, but you know me, I don't go against Van Gerwen.
The form of Van Gerwen in the Premier League against Rob Cross is three 7-2 wins and a 10-6 in the Play-Offs. I don't fancy Cross to beat him, I really don't.
Michael will assert his authority, he'll end up top at the end of the night, and maybe, just maybe, not relinquish it. There is a lot of darts to be played though.
Mardle expects MVG to finish top for seventh year
On recent showing, Van Gerwen seems to have Cross' number. For whatever reason, Cross has not played well against Michael recently - I didn't know why that is.
Wayne's score prediction: Van Gerwen to win 8-4
Michael Smith vs Gerwyn Price
This is huge, it really is. Price cannot afford to lose to Smith and with Michael being on eight points - if he loses then he's cut adrift. But I think Smith wins this one and drags himself back into the race.
I just think Smith is playing better than Price right now. I've been really impressed by Smith in the last couple of weeks but he just hasn't been able to get anything out of the games.
Price is going to get the lion's share of the support in Cardiff and rightly so, but I don't think it will put Smith off.
Wayne's score prediction: Smith to win 8-5
Peter Wright vs James Wade
If Wright loses this then I think he's done for because Wade will have a five-point gap over Wright. Somebody else will win so Wright might become detached.
You start going five points behind with only eight points available, you're then relying on others to lose. Last week, Wright looked better (against Rob Cross) but I still think he gets turned over in this game.
I've been in Wade's corner the last sort of four or five weeks saying Rob Cross, James Wade and Michael van Gerwen look like the only winners to me and I haven't changed my mind. I like what he's doing and he's taking his chances when given them.
Wade has knack of doing the right things at the right time
Wade won a double at the Players Championship over the weekend. He's playing well and he's taking his chances. I think Wade will end up on 14 points and eventually end up making the Play-Offs.
Wayne's score prediction: Wade to win 8-5
Wayne Mardle was speaking to Sky Sports' Raz Mirza. The Premier League continues as we head to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Thursday, April 18. 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.