• Callum Pattison

2021 Premier League Darts: Predictions

After the conclusion of the PDC Pro Tour Events 5-8, the next stop on the PDC schedule is the 2021 Premier League. Who will be the players to make the play-offs and who will be the unfortunate ones to be cut after night 9?

Arguably, the decision to name the line-up for this year's competition was made prematurely. The decision to name the participants was made directly after the World Championship Final as it normally is. However, due to the late start to this year's Premier League competition, I believe it would have been worth waiting until after the UK Open to make that decision.

As a result of this, James Wade who is now world ranked number 4 and the new UK Open Champion has been left out over players such as Rob Cross and Nathan Aspinall who have been struggling for form and consistency.

It is also worth noting that this year's Premier League again will be slightly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The new campaign had been due to begin at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on February 4 but with Covid-19 restrictions, the first nine events will take place in two blocks during April - at the end of those nine nights the bottom two players in the standings will be relegated.

The venue and dates for the remaining fixtures after 'Judgement Night' have yet to be determined. The PDC are said to be exploring options to potentially begin touring again and thus, welcoming back the fans.

Edit: The PDC have now confirmed as of today (22/03/2021) that the second half of the 2021 Premier League season will continue behind closed doors from the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes in May.

Here are my predictions for the final league standings.

1st. Gerwyn Price (Champion)

In big game environments, very few at the moment are better than Gerwyn Price - he proved that in the World Championships. Whether it is in front of fans or behind closed-doors, as long as the TV cameras are on then you can always rely on 'The Iceman' to raise his game.

In a race to 7 or 8 legs, Price will be very difficult to stop. He is just one of those players that you can not give an early lead to or you will be left on the backburners.

The Premier League trophy has eluded Price so far however, I believe that this year he will finally achieve this title. Not only do I think he wins the trophy, I also think he tops the league heading into the play-offs.

2nd. Michael van Gerwen

There's no denying how out of form MVG has been lately. He is no longer the World number 1 (an accolade he had held since 2014) and has been struggling for any kind of consistency. However, the Premier League is a format that has suited van Gerwen in the past.

The 3-time World Champion has won the Premier League on 5 separate occasions with his last one coming in 2019. Although he's out of form, I wouldn't start writing off MVG just yet. The Premier League's format is perfect for him to get his confidence back up to where it used to be.

3rd. Jonny Clayton (Finalist)

Jonny 'The Ferret' Clayton has been absolutely dynamite as of late. For a man who still works a full-time job outside of darts, it is mind-boggling to see how good he has been.

He's won The Masters and The World Cup of Darts in the last year and has been the in-form player in the Pro Tour Events. Questions could be asked regarding how he will do in the Premier League because it will be his debut however, Glen Durrant proved last year that you don't need experience playing this competition to succeed.

Clayton plays darts with no pressure and no worries - he just gets on with it. I fancy him to make the play-offs and, in a bold prediction, I think he gets beat in the final by his Welsh compatriot Gerwyn Price.

4th. Dimitri van den Bergh

Just like Clayton, van den Bergh is also making his full Premier League debut this year. Dimitri more than deserves his spot after winning the World Matchplay last July. A lot of thought and consideration has went into picking who I think will finish in the final play-off spot however, I think van den Bergh will do it.

Although his form in the floor events lets him down quite a lot, van den Bergh always tends to step it up when he's on the TV cameras. He was also excellent in a lot of the TV events last year as well as the Matchplay. His performances at the Grand Slam were superb at times.

5th. Jose de Sousa

The man that is sheer box-office and well deserving of the 'Special One' nickname. Although counting is not one of de Sousa's strong points, his ability to score heavy consistently is frightening at times.

The Portuguese man has established himself as one of the most difficult players to beat on the tour and is a joy to watch. The Grand Slam win in November is proof of what Jose is capable of and I expect him to have decent run in this year's Premier League.

6th. Peter Wright

You never quite know what you're going to get when it comes to Peter Wright. He can show up and average 110+ or he can average somewhere in the 80s. For that reason, I think Peter Wright will have a mid-table finish in this year's league.

One thing for sure with 'Snakebite' is that it is never boring however, his lack of consistency recently could end up being his downfall. His win at the last Pro Tour could be a massive confidence boost though.

7th. Gary Anderson

After telling Sky Sports in December that he plans to start practising more and becoming more dedicated to the game once again, The Premier League will be a big test for Gary Anderson.

Unfortunately, after finishing runner-up in the latest World Championships, Anderson hasn't been able to rekindle that form. He suffered a 2nd round exit at The Masters and was knocked out on the opening day of the UK Open from Dirk van Duijvenbode.

If Anderson gets off to a poor start in the league, I don't expect him to make a charge for the top 4.

8th. Nathan Aspinall

'The Asp' is definitely a talented a player however, recent form suggests he has been struggling as of late to get wins. On the Pro Tour Events so far this season he has failed to put any kind of runs together and for that reason, playing against the best in the world in the Premier League, I think he will suffer a bit.

I don't think he will be eliminated on Judgement night however, I can't see him challenging for the top 4 come the end of the campaign.

9th. Rob Cross (Relegated)

Another player who is not really in any kind of form. The 2018 World Champion has suffered early exits in the World Championships over the last 2 years and was only placed in the Premier League this year because he was 4th in the World Rankings at the time when the line-up was announced.

I just don't believe Rob Cross will mount any sort of challenge in this year's Premier League and I also think he will be one of the player eliminated come Judgement Night.

10th. Glen Durrant (Relegated)

Glen Durrant made his full Premier League debut last year and managed to win it all. However, since that win last October, 'Duzza' has been performing very poorly by his standards.

The latest Pro Tours were tough for him as he struggled to win games and was often averaging in the low to mid 80s. He's one of my favourite players so I hope he can find his form once again. As of right now, it is not looking likely.

In my opinion, Glen Durrant will finish bottom of the Premier League this year.

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