Premier League Darts: Rob Cross to face Michael van Gerwen

Rob Cross at the oche during his Unibet Premier League win over James Wade last Thursday. Picture courtesy Steve Welsh/PDC
Rob Cross at the oche during his Unibet Premier League win over James Wade last Thursday. Picture courtesy Steve Welsh/PDC

Darts superstar Rob Cross will face Michael van Gerwen in a mouthwatering Unibet Premier League encounter tonight (Thursday).

World number two Cross, from St Leonards, will take on world number one van Gerwen at Dublin’s 3Arena on night three of the sport’s widest-reaching tournament.

“I lost my smile last year, everything felt difficult during the Premier League but I’m feeling a lot more positive this year,” said Cross.

See also: * Rob Cross and Adrian Gray perform well in tour event
* Rob Cross: I’m here to play and play properly
* Premier League Darts: Rob Cross beats James Wade

“The Premier League is a ruthless competition and I’m here to play properly; I’ve been working hard on my game and it’s paying off, I feel great at the moment.

“Michael is on a high right now but I’m looking forward to giving it my best shot, and if we’re both on top form then it could be another amazing game between us on Thursday.”

The winners of the last three World Championships, Van Gerwen and Cross, have produced some memorable encounters over the last three years, none more so than their classic World Championship semi-final clash in December 2017.

World number one Van Gerwen gained his revenge for that loss to Cross by defeating the 28-year-old three times in the 2018 Premier League, including a win in the Play-Offs semi-finals.

Both players have made unbeaten starts to this year’s Premier League, with Van Gerwen recording wins over Michael Smith and Mensur Suljovic, while Cross’ back-to-back ton-plus averages have seen his odds of winning a maiden Premier League title shorten to 8/1 second favourite with title sponsor Unibet.

Four-time Premier League champion Van Gerwen has been in imperious form since claiming his third World Championship on New Year’s Day, backing up his Premier League wins with The Masters and two ProTour titles.

“Rob has made a good start to the Premier League, he is always a dangerous player but I know that if I play my best game I will win,” said Van Gerwen, who has topped the league every year since his debut in 2013.

“I’m happy with how my game is going at the moment, I’m doing what I need to at the key moments and I’m not making too many mistakes.

“I enjoy playing in the Premier League, it gives me a good target to fight for points week after week. I’m already top of the table but I need to work hard to stay there.”

NighttThree of the 2019 Unibet Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.

The tournament sees nine of the world’s top players compete across 17 nights of action from February-May.

The top four players at the end of 16 nights will face off in the Play-Offs at The O2 on May 23, while the ninth-placed player following Judgement Night in Rotterdam will face an early elimination.