IN case you didn't notice the withdrawal from Gary Anderson means the PDC have taken the decision to replace him with nine guest players, one a week during the round robin phase of the competition.

When we pitch up at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle thousands of fans will get to see a rematch of the World Championship Final which was contested by Michael Smith and winner Michael van Gerwen.

Week one will also see Chris Dobey take his guest spot and faces Mensur Suljovic in the middle of the darts.

Two newer stars in the PDC face off with Gerwyn Price facing 2018 draw specialist Daryl Gurney.

Two veterans and previous winners of this competition face off, with last weekend's Masters finalist James Wade battling old for Raymond van Barneveld on his final year in competition.

Peter Wright and Rob Cross will close out week one in what we and fans hope to be a winning night for punters.

Wade v Barneveld (22-4-25)

Match odds

The last time the duo faced off in this competition was two years ago, where Raymond won both encounters 7-2 and he's a big 20-1 for a third successive scoreline with Sky Bet.

Wade began his campaign last weekend with a TV final losing out to MVG. The former 009 is fairly generous at odds against in respect that Wade has continued his good form from the latter part of 2018. Barney is bound to be a little rusty since his last 64 exit at the World Championship.

I find it difficult to see Barney's pedigree and class showing him up on the stage but Wade is bound to be the sharper of the pair coming into this.

Wade thrashed Barney back at the World Series and think Wade in their 21st encounter in the Premier League could be the winning start punters get as the 2019 campaign toes the oche.

Price v Gurney (7-1-1)

Match odds

The pair were slow starters in last year's Premier League with the Irishman not winning in the first six and newbie Price failing to win at all.

Last term the pair drew 6-6 clashing in Week Three. Price has an impressive head-to-head record against the Northern Ireland ace, though there doesn't appear to be an awful lot between the pair.

Price throwing first partially dictates the odds in respect if he can hold throw he won't be beaten.

Price struggled for maximums in his campaign last year, passing over 2.5 in just one match in the campaign. Last weekend in a race to 10 legs he could only bag two maximums in 17 legs. Price tends to get momentum as the game progresses but the crowd could well be on his back in Newcastle so could be a bit nervy.

Wright v Cross (5-1-7)

Match odds:

There were good signs from Peter Wright over the weekend in Milton Keynes, where Rob Cross's woes carried on as he begins to defend money in his opening two-year status in the order of merit.

Snakebite reached the semis last weekend, with Voltage bailing out to Joe Cullen in the opening round and the odds do favour Cross, although Wright will throw first.

Hopefully Wright will have banished the rust accumulated between the World Championships but one thing is for certain Cross is certainly needing to turn things around.

The odds should be reversed with the slight advantage that Wright will need to be broken in throw to be beaten and is evens with Boylesports on the draw no bet market.

Other matches

I see no real plays in the exhibition game between Dobey v Suljovic, although Dobey with the crowd behind him could bag the most maximums at odds against. Also a repeat of the World Final has MVG and Smith face off. Again, the fast pace of the game could make the maximums an interesting price, although bookies have this well covered.

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1 Comment
  1. Happyman 2 weeks ago

    Good

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