Premier League 2019 - Preview Tenth League Day

THE second half of the Unibet Premier League season begins at The SSE Arena in Belfast on Thursday, as Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney bids to continue his Play-Off surge against Rob Cross.
Following the elimination of Raymond van Barneveld after last week's double-header in Rotterdam, the remaining eight players are now battling for four spots in May's Play-Offs. The first of seven further league nights sees the Premier League return to Belfast, where Gurney enjoyed a memorable victory in his first appearance at The SSE Arena 12 months ago. Gurney also took on Cross on that occasion, winning 7-5, and returns to Northern Ireland in fourth place in the league table after winning his last three games.
Victory in the German Darts Championship on the PDC's European Tour circuit last weekend also moved Gurney up to third on the PDC Order of Merit, leaving him in confident mood.

"I absolutely cannot wait for Thursday night," said Gurney. "I was already over the moon to be returning to Belfast and to win my first European Tour event just a few days before it is the perfect start. "Last year in Belfast was one of the most magical experiences of my life, so to get the chance to do it again is a dream come true. I know the place will be absolutely buzzing again "I'll be in the mode where I don't want to be beaten but to be the best, you've got to beat the best and I'll be trying my damnedest. "I'm not as consistently good as Rob, Michael van Gerwen or James Wade but I'm looking to get into the top four."
Cross sits level on 13 points at the top of the table with World Champion Van Gerwen, and the world number two is hoping to silence the home support.

"I played a Dutchman, Jeffrey de Zwaan, in Rotterdam last week and I know the crowd will be behind Daryl too but I'm looking forward to it," said Cross. "Daryl's playing great darts at the moment and he's a fantastic guy. "I had to dig in last week to win against Jeffrey but that's not a bad thing to have a battle like that. I hit some big scores at important times and my game's been pretty good recently. "I've got to keep doing what I've been doing but I'm playing well. I've shown some character recently and I've needed to do that."

Van Gerwen defeated both Peter Wright and Van Barneveld by 7-1 scorelines in Rotterdam, and is looking to continue his push to top the league table when he faces Gerwyn Price in Belfast.

"I performed really well in Rotterdam and it's set me up well for the rest of the Premier League," said Van Gerwen. "I'm really happy with how things are going and I've got a lot of confidence now, but I have to stay focused. It's still going to be a long journey towards London but I'm looking forward to it."

The visit to Belfast also sees third-placed James Wade come up against Mensur Suljovic, while Peter Wright meets Michael Smith. 2018 Premier League finalist Smith sits in eighth place going into the second half of the season, but is only four points away from the top four in a congested league table.

Tenth Night's Matches:
Mensur Suljovic v James Wade
Michael Smith v Peter Wright
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwenn v Gerwyn Price

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