Clayton v Aspinall: The Decider
Just one more night now remains in the 2023 Premier League Darts league phase, with Finals Night at the O2 Arena scheduled for next week in the English capital. Night 16 heads to Aberdeen for the last night where 8 players battle it out for a £10,000 prize.
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen has already secured his spot in London, as well as league leader Gerwyn Price and World Number 1 Michael Smith. But who will be the 4th and Final player completing the line up?
It’s been a 2-horse race for the last 2 weeks between 2021 champion Jonny Clayton and former finalist Nathan Aspinall, with the Ferret occupying 4th with 2pts separating him from the ASP. The pair will face off in a huge crunch match in the Second Quarter Final, with the Asp needing to reach the Final to qualify.
Clayton took a step in the right direction last week in Sheffield, after he beat Dimitri van den Bergh 6-4 in the Quarter Finals, earning 2pts for the win. The Stockport player was dealt a blow by Clayton’s Welsh compatriot Gerwyn Price, losing 6-2 to the Iceman who averaged 111.33 missing no darts at double.
The winner will face either league leader Price or recent Czech Darts Open champion Peter Wright in the Semi Finals. Aspinall if he beats the Ferret will have to repeat the trick in the Last 4, as he only has the 1-night win to Clayton’s 2.
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will play in the last Quarter Final of the night in Aberdeen, as he faces Masters Champion Chris Dobey.
Mighty Mike sits 3rd in the league table, with Michael Smith leapfrogging into 2nd after clinching a hat trick of Premier League night wins in Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield. Bully Boy is in the same half of the draw as the Vlijmen player on Night 16, so could face MVG in the Semi’s should both players win their Quarter Final matches.
Reigning World Champion Smith is up 3rd as he faces former Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh, who will be playing for pride as he cannot qualify for Finals Night.
The action starts from 7pm live on Sky Sports, with former World Champion Gerwyn Price opening the night against World Number 2 and recent Euro Tour champion Peter Wright. Snakebite will receive a warm welcome being the only Scotsman in the 2023 Premier League field on Night 16 in Aberdeen.
By Harry Masterson
Premier League: Night 16 Order of Play
Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright
Jonny Clayton v Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith v Dimitri van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey
Price/ Wright v Clayton/ Aspinall
Smith/ Van den Bergh v Van Gerwen/ Dobey
Winner of SF1 v Winner of SF2
Premier League Table:
- Gerwyn Price: 36pts
- Michael Smith: 33pts
- Michael van Gerwen: 31pts
- Jonny Clayton: 24pts
- Nathan Aspinall: 22pts
- Chris Dobey: 14pts
- Dimitri van den Bergh: 11pts
- Peter Wright: 9pts