THE rescheduled Unibet Premier League may have been arranged in unfortunate circumstances, it may never happen in a back-to-back night format again, but while it's here, one thing we can be sure of is that it is delivering from high quality sporting drama. Here again with his tips for Night 12 is Paul "The Asset" Nicholson.
I think it's fair to say both players have shown their ability to adapt to new Premier League surroundings this week, and coming into the ﬁnal night of the six-day stretch in Milton Keynes, they can both be pleased that they are still ﬁring in large performances and making their opponents quiver.
Aspinall is fast becoming a massive annoyance to his opponents as he never seems to relent in the intensity stakes, and this will be his biggest weapon against a Gary Anderson who has been methodically plodding on these past few days. I think it takes huge courage for someone of Gary’s experience to use a brand new set of darts at this stage of the season, but let’s be frank, he could use anyone's arrows and be competitive.
As it stands, he is doing enough to stay in the mix for the play-offs. If Aspinall turns up the heat, he can oust Ando, but he will need a barrage of 180s, concentrated into a 3-4 leg blitz like he did against Bully Boy on Judgement Night if he is to win here for me. I am going for an Aspinall win, narrowly, with The Asp hitting a stack on maxes.
In a 2020 which was dubbed the year of the snake, Peter has looked all the bit a world champ at times, and in the earlier parts of this week in MK, he has been sublime. I don’t remember seeing Peter look ﬂummoxed, aside that comical miscount in the ﬁrst game against Duzza.
He decided to change his darts, but it wasn’t a big change and he has utilised his behemoth mental strength so well in the past few days, and he will need to be still like the Dalai Lama when he faces the yearning Iceman. Price's response to a bad ﬁrst night was out of the Bill Belichick play book. He was put up against the wall and decided to stare down the barrel and scream back.
It worked and he rediscovered his volume. This will be a tight game providing they both come with intensity, and let’s face it, why wouldn’t they at this point of the league? Wright looks a tiny bit more polished for me, and he is the likely winner and also the more likely to get a big out, over the 136 range.
I think both of the Michaels have some doubters out in the press tent and the social media daily frenzy just now. People are very quick to judge in normal circumstances, but in an intensiﬁed schedule of matches in this iconic event, things will be ramped up even more.
They have both played well this week, but they have left points on the ﬂoor at the Marshall Arena, and that will irk both combatants, and it could hurt them in the ﬁnal furlong for the play-offs. MVG is not in full stomp mode and is striving for a consistent rhythm, but he won’t struggle for that against the man from St Helens, as he is the perfect opponent for Mighty Mike.
Likewise for Smith who loves to test himself against the fast-paced Dutchman, so this one could get rowdy and could get very, very good. I expect nothing less and it could be the tussle of the night. If Smith is to win it though, he may have to do it outside a last leg decider as they haven’t been his forté of late. I think this one has MVG’s name on it, purely because he may have an extra 1% of mental toughness in the clutch.
It amazes me when you think back to early 2019 and some darts fans didn’t think Duzza would contend in the PDC. Those people have a rather eggy face right now, and does the newly professed most boring player on the stage give two hoots? As they say in his part of the world, “Wey not likely.”
With the talent he already has, and a ﬂight change this week that looks like a genius move, he looks to be as hard to topple as Garry Kasparov on the chess board in the 1990s. Give a lot of credit to Superchin though, this darter can ﬁght with the best of them, and he doesn’t know the meaning of the word 'quit'.
His stock has risen this week, and even though he hasn’t played his top drawer quality, he has been poised and potent at the vital times. For me, he is improving without improving in the stats.
However, you can’t see past Duzza in this, because his stats are key, his bulletproof vest still has some time left in it, and he wants to shut the likes of me up talking about his career having a time limit. If Duzza loses this game, it will be a surprise.