Premier Play Off Places: Four From Five?

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FOUR weeks now remaining before the 2024 Premier League Play Offs, we now enter crunch time in the league phase with 5 potential players all still in with a chance of securing two Play Off places. 

The two debutants in World Champion Luke Humphries and World Youth Champion Luke Littler look to have done enough so far with a combined 5-night wins between them, but for Michael van Gerwen who has won four-night successes: the job still isn’t complete just yet. 

With Nathan Aspinall winning in Rotterdam last week and Michael Smith reaching the Final, the Play Off race was blown wide open after Michael van Gerwen’s early exit to Luke Humphries. 

Last year’s table topper Gerwyn Price and Rob Cross are still just about in with a fighting chance of coming back into it, so the remaining four weeks in Liverpool, Aberdeen, Leeds, and Sheffield is very much all to play for.

The top four will qualify for the Play Offs in a month’s time at the O2 Arena, with 1st in the table facing 4th in the Semi Finals and 2nd taking on 3rd in the other. 

Gerwyn Price will face Luke Littler in the opening match this week in Liverpool, and you feel now that if The Iceman was to make a dash, a night win must come from somewhere. The Welsh international won four times last year so knows what it takes to get over the line on a night in the Premier League. 

Nathan Aspinall knew what it felt to be on the wrong side of a gripping Play Off race after having his hopes crushed by The Iceman last year, with Jonny Clayton pipping The Asp to 4th place in 2023. The reigning World Matchplay champion though is in a much stronger position this time around, picking up 2 Night wins as he sits 3rd in the table with 3pts separating him from Michael Smith in 5th

Michael van Gerwen was looking all but certain to be in the Play Offs after claiming an early hat-trick with consecutive wins in Berlin, Glasgow, and Newcastle. However, a spell where the defending champion couldn’t pick up a win is seeming a bit costly as the remainder of the field have caught back, with 3 players now ahead of the 7 Time Premier League Champion. 

Michael Smith has reached four Premier League Night Finals, winning the opening Night in Cardiff before reaching further Grand Finale’s in Rotterdam, Dublin, and Brighton. The former World Champion has won his last three-Quarter Finals ahead of facing Rob Cross this week in Liverpool, with Voltage needing to win to keep his hopes of the O2 Arena alive himself. 

The final week in Sheffield will see what happened in Dublin occur again, with 4th taking on 5th in the table in a contest which could have huge ramifications on the outcome of the Play Off race.

12 months ago Nathan Aspinall (5th) beat Jonny Clayton (4th) to move level on points with the Ferret, so The Asp had to reach the Final on Night 16 to qualify. The Stockport thrower lost out to Gerwyn Price in the Semi’s which allowed The Ferret a passage through having won the more nights of the two players over the 16 weeks played. (2-1)

Michael van Gerwen will have a huge advantage over the other competing players if history does repeat itself this year, having won 4 nights with Nathan Aspinall the next highest with 2.

Michael Smith must deal with a difficult test against Home favourite Peter Wright in the Quarter Finals on Night 14 in Aberdeen, whilst Rob Cross faces Leeds United fan Luke Humphries on Night 15 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. 

Luke Humphries and Luke Littler are not guaranteed of their places yet, but with 6pts separating them from 5th, the need to pick up wins is more important at this stage in comparison with winning a night. 

The Premier League Play Off race has all the ingredients to be gripping through to the end of the 16-week league phase, but who will be in the Final 4 on the 23rd of May at the O2 Arena? 

2024 BETMGM Premier League Darts Table: 

  1. Luke Humphries: 26pts
  2. Luke Littler: 26pts
  3. Nathan Aspinall: 23pts 
  4. Michael van Gerwen: 22pts
  5. Michael Smith: 20pts
  6. Gerwyn Price: 12pts
  7. Rob Cross: 11pts
  8. Peter Wright: 4pts

—–ENDS—–

Images: PDC

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