THE 2019 Unibet Premier League gets underway on Thursday at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena as Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith face off in a replay of the World Championship final.
Darts’ widest-reaching tournament will see nine of the world’s top players compete across 17 nights of action from February-May, broadcast live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.
The road to Play-Offs night at The O2 begins in Newcastle, with Smith seeking to avenge his defeats to Van Gerwen in the 2018 Premier League final and the recent World Championship decider at Alexandra Palace.
Recently-crowned a three-time World Champion, Van Gerwen will be seeking an incredible fifth Premier League title, and his fourth consecutive crown.
A table-topper every year since his debut season in 2013, the world number one has not tasted defeat in a televised match since November 2018, a trend he is hoping to continue throughout the Premier League.
There will be no Gary Anderson in this year’s Premier League, with the injured Scot replaced by nine debutant ‘Contenders’ made up of rising stars and local favourites.
Toon talent Chris Dobey will be the first contender to take to the stage in front of a passionate Newcastle crowd as he takes on two-time TV title winner Mensur Suljovic.
The opening clash of the 2019 Premier League will see former champions James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld collide, in the first game of the Dutchman’s final campaign before retirement at the end of the year.
Grand Slam of Darts Champion Gerwyn Price will take on Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney, while former World Champion Rob Cross plays world number three Peter Wright.
Night One Match odds with Unibet
11/10 James Wade 17/5 Draw 7/4 Raymond van Barneveld
9/5 Gerwyn Price 33/10 Draw 11/10 Daryl Gurney
3/1 Chris Dobey 7/2 Draw 4/6 Mensur Suljovic
11/25 Michael van Gerwen 9/2 Draw 9/2 Michael Smith
6/4 Peter Wright 3/1 Draw 7/5 Rob Cross