It’s the second out of 16 nights in the Premier League this evening, and the event will be played in front of a sold out Cardiff International Arena. It sees stars Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton return home, with the former likely to receive a rare positive ovation.
Last Thursday, the first event was won by Chris Dobey, on the back of winning his first ever TV title at the Darts Masters in Milton Keynes. Dobey beat Michael van Gerwen in the first of this year’s Premier League finals with a dramatic 160 finish to win the £10,000 prize.
There’s some tasty quarter-final matchups this evening. It’s reigning world champion Michael Smith versus Welshman Jonny Clayton, Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright, the controversial Gerwyn Price vs in-form Chris Dobey, and Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Let’s look at the best bets for the opening four matches of the night in Cardiff.
Michael Smith vs Jonny Clayton – Jonny Clayton to win at 6/4
Michael Smith against Jonny Clayton is the opening match of the night, and they’ll both be desperate for a win given that both lost their first match last week.
The value lays with Jonny Clayton in my opinion, despite how much I love to watch Michael Smith with his power scoring and majestic action.
Jonny Clayton is the home player here and the crowd should be a big part of his game. They’ll support him in key areas of the match, such as booing Michael Smith when he’s throwing for key doubles which will only make his job more difficult.
It’s not just the crowd that comes into it, Clayton has a really good record against Smith, within the Premier League too. Clayton beat Smith in seven of their 11 meetings throughout 2022, and Clayton has won three of the last five in the Premier League.
Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright – Peter Wright to win at 8/13
Peter Wright goes into this one having won six of his last eight matches. His last two were defeats, against Rob Cross in the Masters semi-final, and against Chris Dobey on Night 1 last week, zero shame in that.
Peter Wright averaged 103.77 against Dobey last week and it’s unsual that you’d lose with that level of average in the Premier League. In comparison, Aspinall averaged 94.39 in a win over Gerwyn Price, and then a lower 93.06 as he also lost to Dobey.
If the averages are at a similar range this evening, then I would bank on Peter Wright advancing.
Wright has started the darting year well, he was the winner in the Nordic Darts Masters before having a good run at The Masters in the UK.
Gerwyn Price vs Chris Dobey – Over 112.5 checkout in the game at 5/6
This is a match-up where I wouldn’t like to call a winner.
You’ve got Gerwyn Price who’s playing in front of a home crowd in Cardiff and he’s also the best player in the world on his day. You’ve then got Chris Dobey who must be brimming with confidence having won successive events and now eight matches in a row.
One thing I do like in this meeting is a high checkout. The line is 112.5 between these two and over at 1.83 looks fantastic.
Last week, Price was beaten by Nathan Aspinall in his first match so he was knocked out of the running early doors. However, during that match, Price managed to take out a 116 finish which is above tonight’s line.
As for Chris Dobey, he played all three matches in his way to winning the first event in Northern Ireland. He took out 121 in his first match against Peter Wright, and then he took out two huge finishes with a 160 and big fish (170) in the final against MVG.
Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh – Michael van Gerwen to win at 3/10
Tonight’s quarter-final matches will come to their conclusion following Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh which is a repeat of last week’s semi-final.
MVG came out on top with a 6-4 win, and he threw an impressive 106 average. He ultimately lost to Chris Dobey in the final, but there’s no shame in that given that he’s the form player in the PDC right now.
Van Gerwen’s record against Dimitri is quite staggering. The Dutchman has lost just one of his 15 head-to-heads with Van den Bergh and that came all the way in 2018. The record is 13-1-1 in MVG’s favour, and in televised matches, it’s 5 wins in favour of MVG plus a draw.
Across 2022/23, it’s six straight wins for Michael van Gerwen against Dimitri Van den Bergh.