Premier League 2018 - Preview Fourteenth League Day

ROB CROSS, Michael Smith and Gary Anderson can secure their places in the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs on Thursday as the tournament visits Arena Birmingham.

World Champion Cross, who sits third, and second-placed Smith need just one more point to seal their spots at The O2 on May 17. Having battled his way to successive 6-6 draws with Peter Wright and Raymond Van Barneveld, Cross will be looking to keep his unbeaten run going against Michael Van Gerwen in Birmingham.

"It's a massive challenge," admitted Cross, who famously defeated Van Gerwen in their epic semi-final clash at the 2018 World Championship. "He's the world number one for a reason and he's fantastic, so you know you've got to play well to beat him. "I want to secure my place in the Play-Offs and I'm feeling positive. Every week's been a new experience for me and it's all still a learning curve. "I couldn't have predicted how things went in the first couple of weeks but I've adapted since and it's been a great experience."

Smith can clinch a first ever play-off berth against Daryl Gurney, who is the only player outside the top four who can still make the play-offs. However, The Northern Irishman hasn't given up hope of appearing at The O2, despite trailing fourth-placed Gary Anderson by three points going into the final two games of the campaign.

"I'm one of the best players in the world for one reason - I never give up," said Gurney, who fought his way to a 6-6 draw with Michael Van Gerwen last week in Manchester. "I don't care who I'm playing, I never, ever give up and I never give my opponent an easy game. "I've been practicing really well and all I have to do is replicate that high-scoring on the Premier League stage."

Anderson could end Gurney's hopes of making the final four if he can pick up a win over Van Barneveld. The Scottish star could also qualify with a draw against Van Barneveld if Gurney fails to beat Smith.

The opening game of the evening will see Wright take on Simon Whitlock and, while both players know they won't be appearing at The O2, the Australian ace insists he will be giving it his all.
"I don't want to finish eighth, but I'll just play each game as it comes now and hopefully play the darts I know I can. "I know I'm not going to make the Play-Offs, but I'm going to try my heart out every single week. I love playing darts and I love the Premier League," said Whitlock, who shocked Anderson with a 7-5 win in Manchester last week.

Fourteenth Night's Matches
Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Rob Cross v Michael Van Gerwen
Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson v Raymond Van Barneveld

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