Michael van Gerwen will attempt to ignite his bid for a sixth Premier League Darts title when he faces Dimitri Van den Bergh on the opening night of phase two on Wednesday May 5.
Van Gerwen sits third in the table, two points behind second-placed Van den Bergh and top-of-the-table Nathan Aspinall and it is the in-form Belgian that will be the Dutchman’s opening opponent on Night 10 in Milton Keynes.
The pair played out a draw on the first night of the tournament but it’s Van den Bergh who has prospered on his Premier League debut while Van Gerwen, who failed to make the Play-Offs for the first time last year, has displayed the inconsistencies that have plagued him over the last 12 months
MvG endured a tough return to the Pro Tour this week when he failed to reach the quarter-finals on any of the four days and averaged 100 or more on three occasions of the first nine nights
However, he has also averaged 92 or less in four of his matches, Van den Bergh has lost just once and took that form to Germany for Super Series 3 where he won his first Pro Tour title on Tuesday.
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Premier League Darts – Night 10 fixtures (Wednesday May 7)
Live Premier League Darts
May 5, 2021, 7:00pm
“MvG will be wanting to press on the gas and to get the opportunity against Dimi is ideal because he could go level on points with him,” Sky Sports’ Colin Lloyd told The Darts Show podcast.
“If Gary wants to push up from eighth he will need two points against Jose [De Sousa] and Peter Wright is going to start wanting to put points on the board – but to do that that he will have to start against the man who is top of the table [Nathan Aspinall].
“James Wade and Jonny Clayton in fourth and fifth sets up really nicely because it’s all going to be about gaps and margins and opening and closing so it sets up as a really big night.”
A tightly packed league table will give everyone plenty of hope of a top-four spot with two-time champion Gary Anderson just two points off fourth place despite lying eighth – the Scot faces Jose De Sousa, another Pro Tour winner in Germany, who he beat on Night Two as he looks to get his charge to the play-offs.
Anderson was a guest on the latest episode of The Darts Show podcast and is optimistic about putting things back on track after just one win from his last five games.
𝑨𝑺 𝑰𝑻 𝑺𝑻𝑨𝑵𝑫𝑺! 📊
Just five points separate our final eight players 👀
The race for the play-offs is going to be incredible!
✍ Live blog: https://t.co/ICfc7x9DRp
#️⃣ #PLDarts21 pic.twitter.com/9KMPvgN5Vj
Elsewhere on opening night, Aspinall was runner-up to Glen Durrant last year and he leads Van den Bergh at the top of the table on leg difference and he will resume against Peter Wright, while James Wade and Jonny Clayton – in fourth and fifth place respectively – meet in the opening match next Wednesday that could blow the top four race wide open.
The competition resumes with three nights of action before the concluding week of action starts on Monday May 24 with the final four nights of the regular season following by the semi-finals and final on Friday May 28.
The PDC remains hopeful that a crowd could be in attendance for the final week of action, but it will be guided by government advice as lockdown restrictions are due to move to the next phase on May 17 if conditions are met.
“It would be great if we can look forward to the crowd coming back in the final wee, but also that is a really good opening night of action to return with – fascinating night of darts,” Sky Sports’ Colin Lloyd told The Darts Show podcast.
“Nathan and Dimitri might be a little bit more relaxed with a three-point cushion over fifth place – but the match-ups give us a great chance to potentially – and once again this year – see how quickly the league can change.
“It is about going up there with the right head, the right mindset and doing all you can to try and nick a point to start with.
“You can only control what you are doing, not what anyone else is doing – and not do you want it to be left in other players hands.
- Premier League Darts 2021: Results, fixtures & schedule
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Premier League Darts 2021 – Remaining Fixtures
Night Ten – Wednesday May 5
Jonny Clayton v James Wade
Jose de Sousa v Gary Anderson
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
Night 11 – Thursday May 6
Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
James Wade v Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
Night 12 – Friday May 7
Peter Wright v Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Jonny Clayton v Nathan Aspinall
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Gary Anderson
Night 13 – Monday May 24
Jonny Clayton v Gary Anderson
Jose de Sousa v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Nathan Aspinall v Michael van Gerwen
James Wade v Peter Wright
Night 14 – Tuesday May 25
James Wade v Nathan Aspinall
Jonny Clayton v Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Night 15 – Wednesday May 26
Jonny Clayton v Peter Wright
James Wade v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall
Jose de Sousa v Michael van Gerwen
Night 16 – Thursday May 27
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Nathan Aspinall v Jose de Sousa
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jonny Clayton
Play-Offs – Friday May 28
The top four players in the league phase will meet in two semi-finals and the final.
Don’t miss an arrow as Premier League Darts continues on Wednesday May 5 from 7pm on Sky Sports Action – and stick with us through the week for updates, interviews and reaction from the start of this year’s competition
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