Premier League Darts – Anderson and Cross can serve up a thriller in Thursday’s opener


Darts guru Ben Levene (@benlevene96) looks ahead to week five of the Premier League of Darts.

Gary Anderson v Rob Cross| Thursday 1st March 2018, 19:15 | Sky Sports

Gary Anderson has won all three previous meetings with Cross, albeit none were on TV. He’s averaged 110 and 105 in the last two weeks and has produced scintillating stuff at times.

The back is seemingly on the mend and it really looks like Gary is enjoying his darts at the moment. He’s admitted he could retire tomorrow happy with what he’s achieved, and that makes him a danger as he’s playing without pressure.

The Flying Scotsman’s 180 counts this season read 3, 5, 4, 5 and that becomes even more impressive when you consider he posted the first two of those with a troubled back. His maximum hitting rate in the Premier League this season is one every 2.59 legs.

Voltage is still going through the gears as he attempts to replicate his 2017 form. Cross still has someway to go but he’s making progress week on week.

The last two weeks he’s turned up with about his C-game, yet he’s beaten major winners Peter Wright and Raymond Van Barneveld. That must surely give him confidence.

He’s shown glimpses on the floor too, reaching a final, two semi-finals’ and a quarter-final in his last five events.

In his World Championship winning run, Cross hit more maximum’s than any other player, at a rate of one every 2.77 legs. So far in the Premier League this season he’s hit 10 in 38 legs giving a rate of one every 3.8 legs, and that’s when he’s not even played particularly well.

In each of his last two matches he’s hit four 180’s, at a rate of one every 2.625 legs, which suggests his scoring is getting back to its best.

At the Masters in the opening event of this year, Cross hit 13 180’s in 31 legs of darts, giving a rate of one every 2.38 legs.

Even airing on the side of caution, if this match were to see as few as nine legs, we could expect three or four 180's a piece based on their ratios. Should the game go all twelve-legs, then there's no reason Anderson and Cross can't hit five or six each.

The pair met in a UK Open qualifier in Wigan in early February and it went to a last leg decider with Anderson edging it 6-5. Although the standard tends to be higher away from the TV, both players averaged over 100 and the match saw 13 180’s.

If both bring a solid game, then this looks set to go a long way, which means there is scope for maximum’s. Both players have shown they thrive in high-quality, fast-paced contests.

After performing in front of a rampant Berlin crowd last Thursday, the duo should have no issues serving up a thriller in Exeter this week.

Best Bets

Gary Anderson v Rob Cross – Over 6.5 180's (7/9 Sporting Bet)

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