Premier League Darts: Is Michael van Gerwen in danger of missing out on Play-Offs for just second time? | Darts News

After four weeks of Premier League Darts, ‘Mighty Mike’ was living up to his moniker.

Michael van Gerwen sat at the top of the table on 15 points following three nightly wins in a row, with the Dutchman victorious in Berlin, Glasgow and Newcastle.

MVG held an eight-point advantage over nearest challenger Michael Smith and already looked well on his way to a Play-Off place, something he has only failed to achieve once in the 11 previous editions he has appeared in.

But the seven-time Premier League champion’s prospects do not look quite so rosy now.

Premier League Darts 2024 - table after Week Four
Van Gerwen led the way after week four…

Premier League Darts - Night 10 (Sky Sports)
But is now clinging on to a place in the top four

He has only added two points to his tally since, with six defeats out of seven in the competition seeing him drop to fourth, just two points better off than fifth-placed Smith ahead of Night 11 in Birmingham on Thursday, live on Sky Sports from 7pm.

Van Gerwen was dumped out at the first hurdle in Exeter, Brighton, Nottingham and Dublin and since snapping that losing streak with a quarter-final victory over Smith in Belfast, he has endured successive defeats to Luke Littler, first in Northern Ireland and then Manchester.

Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League

2013 Winner
2014 Runner-up
2015 Runner-up
2016 Winner
2017 Winner
2018 Winner
2019 Winner
2020 Sixth
2021 Semi-finals
2022 Winner
2023 Winner

‘Van Gerwen on the precipice’

MVG’s loss to Littler last Thursday – which came as his opponent went on to claim his second straight nightly victory – left Sky Sports pundit Dan Dawson suggesting his top-four spot was in jeopardy.

Dawson told the Love The Darts Podcast: “I don’t really know what’s going on or where he’s at. He was doing things in that game with Littler that I don’t really understand.

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Littler beat Van Gerwen in their quarter-final tie on Night 10 of the Premier League in Manchester

“You expect MVG to come good, and he did in this Premier League by winning three weeks on the trot, but he has been poor since then. Right now, he is sat on the precipice.

“Luke Humphries is playing brilliantly, Littler is playing brilliantly and Nathan Aspinall has leapfrogged him [as well]. He is in danger.

“If he doesn’t buck his ideas up, he might miss out on the Play-Offs. It has happened before but it is a rarity.”

Night 11, Birmingham: Thursday April 11 – live on Sky Sports Action and Arena from 7pm

Peter Wright vs Luke Humphries
Rob Cross vs Luke Littler
Gerwyn Price vs Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen vs Nathan Aspinall

Van Gerwen’s malaise has not been confined to the Premier League, where averages over 100 have frequently eluded him, with an early exit at the UK Open also amid a string of losses.

He reached the final of the German Grand Prix over Easter but was then demolished 8-1 by world No 1 and world champion Humphries.

This week, he exited the two Players Championship events in Leicester in the second and third rounds.

Sky Sports’ Wayne Mardle said: “If you had told me four or five weeks ago that Van Gerwen would be in the position he is in now, I wouldn’t have believed you.

“Michael is not playing well enough often enough and he needs to as right now it is looking dodgy for him. He did play well in his three nightly wins on the bounce, so was that a false dawn?”

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Luke Humphries claimed his sixth PDC European Tour title in spectacular style with an 8-1 demolition of Van Gerwen in Germany

Who is pushing Van Gerwen for Play-Off place?

Van Gerwen, who had been hampered by a shoulder injury, needs a response in Birmingham when he takes on third-placed Aspinall in the quarter-finals, as another poor evening could see him pushed out of the top four by Smith with five nights of the regular 16-week season left to play.

Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price are also still in the mix, sitting six and seven points respectively behind Van Gerwen, with only Peter Wright, languishing on four points, realistically out of the race.

Price boosted his chances by reaching the final in Manchester last week, with his highlight a nine-dart finish against Smith in the semi-finals – the first by any player in this year’s tournament and the third of Price’s Premier League career after he hit two in the same night in Belfast in 2022.

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Gerwyn Price struck a nine-darter in Manchester, the first of the Premier League season

Table-topper Littler (23 points) and second-placed Humphries (22 points) will feel they have one foot in the Play-Offs already, with 24 enough to reach the top four in 2023.

Five points are awarded for an overall nightly win in the Premier League, three for finishing runner-up and two if you are knocked out in the semi-finals.

If you lose your quarter-final, you leave with nothing, a scenario that Van Gerwen has become overly familiar with in recent weeks with his hopes of a third successive title taking hit after hit.

2024 Premier League Darts schedule

Night 1 Cardiff Feb 1 Winner: Michael Smith
Night 2 Berlin Feb 8 Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Night 3 Glasgow Feb 15 Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Night 4 Newcastle Feb 22 Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Night 5 Exeter Feb 29 Winner: Nathan Aspinall
Night 6 Brighton March 7 Winner: Luke Humphries
Night 7 Nottingham March 14 Winner: Luke Humphries
Night 8 Dublin March 21 Winner: Luke Humphries
Night 9 Belfast March 28 Winner: Luke Littler
Night 10 Manchester April 4 Winner: Luke Littler
Night 11 Birmingham April 11
Night 12 Rotterdam April 18
Night 13 Liverpool April 25
Night 14 Aberdeen May 2
Night 15 Leeds May 9
Night 16 Sheffield May 16
Finals Night The O2, London May 23

Premier League Darts continues on Thursday April 11, in Birmingham. Watch live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Arena from 7pm. Stream darts and more through NOW.

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