2019 Premier League Darts Line Up Confirmed

premier leagueWe saw plenty of shocks in the early rounds of the 2019 PDC World Darts Championships but ultimately, favourite Michael Van Gerwen came through to claim the big prize. The Dutchman secured his third world title and has set himself up nicely for a strong campaign this year.

We’ve a quiet period now until the next big event on the calendar but with the Premier League line up confirmed in the immediate aftermath of that world final, it’s a good opportunity to take an early look at the runners and riders.

Ten Names in the Hat

Once again, ten of the best players on the PDC circuit are set to compete in the Premier League and the only change from 2018’s line up sees James Wade come in for Simon Whitlock. Therefore, the full list of entrants reads as follows:

Not all bookmakers have reacted to the news but everyone who has declared so far has Van Gerwen down as the odds on favourite. MVG can be picked up at odds of 3/4 with SportingBet and then we move out to second favourite Gary Anderson at a top price of 5/1 with BetFred and Betway.

Michael Smith was runner up to Van Gerwen here in 2018, just as he was at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day. Bully Boy is available at best odds of 10/1 with SportNation and SportPesa, just ahead of former World Champion Rob Cross at 11/1 with SportingBet.

Moving through the list of players, Peter Wright was the Premier League runner up in 2017 and Snakebite can be claimed at best odds of 12/1 with 10Bet and Betway before the market really starts to move out. We then have a big gap to Mensur Suljovic at a top price of 28/1 with SportNation and RedZoneSports, followed by Daryl Gurney at a best of 40/1 with the same two bookmakers.

James Wade is next at best odds of 50/1 with SportingBet while 10Bet and SportPesa have the best numbers on Gerwyn Price and Raymond Van Barneveld: Both men are on offer with those outlets at 66/1.

2019 Format

Michael Von Gerwen
Michael Von Gerwen

Following an extension to the format in 2018 that saw the Premier League head to venues outside of the UK for the very first time, there are some smaller changes for this year. The event itself begins at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on February 7 and carries through on a weekly basis until finals night at the London O2 Arena on May 23rd.

Over the course of the first nine weeks, all ten players will play each other once and at the end of that cycle, the bottom two throwers in the league will be eliminated. From week ten onwards, the remaining eight darters will play each other once more and at the end of that phase, the top four players progress to the semi finals.

Once again, the Premier League crosses into Ireland and Germany with an additional double-header being scheduled for Rotterdam at the end of March. It’s another packed and exciting tournament but can we pick a winner at this early stage?

Verdict

Mensur Suljovic
Mensur Suljovic

Over the course of a long tournament such as this one, it would be a huge shock if Michael Van Gerwen were to be eliminated before that semi final stage. Mighty Mike experienced his share of disappointments in 2018 but that success at Alexandra Palace confirms his status as the best player in the world right now.

When it comes down to the final four, anything can then happen on the last day of competition but as he comes into 2019 on the back of three straight Premier League titles, Van Gerwen is clearly the man to beat.

The success story of last year’s tournament involved Michael Smith: Bully Boy was consistently strong through the group stages before succumbing to MVG in the final and there will be some definite interest in his 10/1 win price.

In terms of finding value further down the list, Mensur Suljovic looks interesting at that 28/1 price. Like a number of top seeds, the Austrian was disappointing at the recent world championships and he was inconsistent in last season’s Premier League but Suljovic went on to have a productive 2018 and he can’t be ruled out.

James Wade returned to form with back-to-back wins on the circuit and The Machine will certainly add some spice to the competition. A competitive encounter with the equally-feisty Gerwyn Price is in store and the Welshman is another man to consider.

Price expressed his dislike for the Premier League format last season but if he can somehow embrace it then he can do well. The Iceman enjoyed title success at the end of 2018 and in the right frame of mind he can go deep into this tournament.

Prices will change in the lead up to the first night of competition in February and more bookmakers will declare odds so you may want to wait to check the numbers as they come in. For now, the man to beat is Michael Van Gerwen but is there any real value in that 3/4 price?

The standout odds right now look to centre on Suljovic and Price and if you are taking an early bet, both men have the capacity to go into finals night and deliver a return on an Each Way basis at least.

Best Bets for Premier League Darts 2019: