WITH three fixtures to go, there will be a race to avoid the drop before Judgement Night, which was scheduled to be on Maundy Thursday in less than two weeks, but has been pushed back a week to allow for the cancelled event back in week five.

There is in my view a four horse race battling to avoid the bottom two as Judgement Night approaches on April 5th 2018.

Contenders for the drop

Gerwyn Price – 2/13 for the drop with Sportingbet

Poor Gerwyn has been on the wrong side of 7-5 in a game he should have taken atleast a point from and lost against Barney. Gerwyn has learnt a lot from this process and has three games left (Cross, Smith and Whitlock) and his opponents will all be throwing first.

Price has the worse leg difference and least legs won against the throw although when he is at the double, is more than respectably mid table on his checkout success. It was only a few years ago where 40% checkout success was considered match winning. In the premier league appears to be standard.

Purely on stats the chances of survival is not great especially on legs won against the throw. I think at 2/13 layers are willing to take this on in the slim chance Gerwyn causes an upset.

Gezzy's ultimate goal is six points from the last three, although realistically if he were to get three points this may not be enough. I do think Gerwyn has nothing to lose now and all the pressure should be taken off, so he can perform in the majestic style we have been accustomed to.

Betfair and Paddy Power are taking 4/7 the Welsh Ace finishes bottom of the table and in fairness I cannot argue with this price with support of the stats and he is against the throw in all of the last three games.

Recommendation

Peter Wright – 7/2 for the drop with Sportingbet

A credit to Glenn Woodage, odds compiler at Sportingbet for putting out the best price for Wright for the drop. I have generally found Glenn to be one of the elite judges in Darts, and have had the privilege of great off air conversations.

Peter Wright can be viewed as having a sluggish start. Albeit a pro tour final last weekend, form has been patchy, and to Wright's detriment continually changing his set up has not paid dividends. I cannot recall seeing it anywhere else, but his illness just before Christmas has affected Wright in what I may call controversial but Wright had noticeably lost timber and ever since his performances have not been at the grand heights of what we have been led to expect.

However, Wright is a player that plays in nearly every event and I see him pulling out of his current spot at second bottom in the Premier League.

Daryl Gurney – 6/4 for the drop with Paddy Power

Superchin entered the Premier League with a major title under his belt from last October and his performances have been under par with some lucky results going his way. He managed to capture a draw against Whitlock with several match darts and this has been where his fall has been.

His 6/4 price for relegation is partially based on the showdown with Suljovic next week where Gurney has the advantage of throwing first.

The strengths of Gurney is his ability to power score especially netting the most maximums thus far with 23.His checkout conversion is the lowest of the participants, whereas Mensur's is the best conversion. Superchin's overall average is just shy of 97, and Mensur's is in excess of 3.5 points ahead of the Irishman.

Next week the pair face off, and feel Mensur will continue to play the style he is accustomed to, which will not help the rhythm based Gurney. I think Gurney with Cross and Wright will have no easier opportunities, although he wll throw first in all of the next three, but will in our eyes not be enough to see through to phase two.

Recommendation

Mensur Suljovic – 11/10 for the drop with Bet365

As mentioned above, we think Gurney out of the pair will be the one to go and has a favourable leg difference to Daryl, where we think the layers at Paddy Power are favouring their Irishman Gurney over the Austrian Ace.

On stats, Suljovic should not end in the bottom two. However Mensur should consider getting the job done and not leaving it to the final night where he faces MVG.

Mensur's stats have the class, although he will need the results and do see Suljovic getting out of this one.

Other markets

The nine dart finish is a market which has held some price, and 5/6 with Bet365 for no nine darter appeals

The perfect leg has been accomplished eight times since the inception of the competition in 2005. Barney (2) Taylor (3) Whitlock (1) and Lewis (2) are the only players to have achieved this.

The last one was in 2017 when Lewis achieved this. However just Barney and Whitlock are in this competition and the likes of MVG and Anderson have not sealed this outcome in the years of their involvement and endeavour come the conclusion at the o2 we will not have seen one.

Recommendation

  • No 9 dart finish – 5/6 Bet365 2pts

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