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Premier League: Anderson backed for play-off glory

Premier League Darts Preview and Predictions

Gary Anderson is 7/2 to win the Premier League when the play-offs take place at the O2 Arena on Thursday.

The Scot plays surprise package Michael Smith in the semi-finals after ending the regular season in style.

Back-to-back defeats hampered Anderson's quest to reach the play-offs following a four-match winning streak, but a stunning victory over Michael van Gerwen in his homeland last week showed what he is capable of.

Anderson has a dominant head-to-head record with Smith, winning nine of 12 meetings, but the pair have both collected one victory against each other this campaign.

Smith rocked Anderson on the opening night with a sensational comeback to secure a 7-5 triumph, giving him the confidence to challenge, but Anderson responded with a 7-2 hammering last month.

Anderson can also take comfort from the fact that he was won both Premier League finals he has competed in, beating Adrian Lewis and Van Gerwen in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

"The 15 weeks is gone now and it's all down to one night," Anderson told PDC.tv.

Smith, participating in only his second televised semi-final, is a 12/1 shot for the trophy.

Van Gerwen faces world champion Rob Cross in the other last-four clash, aiming for a fourth title.

The Dutchman has won his last two meetings against Cross, both by a 7-2 scoreline in the Premier League, since he was stunned by the former electrician in the semi-finals of the World Championship last year.

Van Gerwen, odds-on favourite at 40/85 to retain his crown, told PDC.tv: "Even if the other players get close to me, it doesn't matter how close they get.

"As long as I win, that's the only thing that counts."

Cross is 6/1 to follow up his maiden world title with the Premier League in his debut campaign.

But the 27-year-old's preparation has been hit by an illness which ruled him out of the weekend's Dutch Darts Masters.

Cross told PDC.tv: "I've learnt a lot this year, I'm pleased with how I've done so far but I think next year I will be even better for the experience."

Premier League Darts: Play-off Betting Tips

Michael van Gerwen to win the Premier League @ 40/85

Gary Anderson to win the Premier League @ 7/2

Rob Cross to win the Premier League @ 6/1

Michael Smith to win the Premier League @ 12/1

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Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Darts