With the 2022 Cazoo Premier League Darts around the corner, darts fans around the globe are on the edge of their seats. The darts organisation recently announced a major change to the usual format of the Premier League – the biggest change in its history, in fact. Instead of the top four players in the world competing against six wild cards, the new format will see only eight players participate.
This year will see eight players compete in 16 mini-tournaments, each consisting of quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. Each league night’s winner will be awarded five ranking points, with three points going to the runner-up and two points to the semi-finalist. The four players who have earned the most points at the end of the 16 weeks will head to the finals. The question on every online sports betting fan’s mind right now is; which players will be invited to join the 2022 PDC Premier League?
While the world’s top players, Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen are guaranteed a spot, the jury is out on who the up and coming darts players worth betting on this year are. Let’s take a look at who’s in the running.
James Wade became the youngest player to win a major PDC title at the age of 24 when he won the 2007 World Matchplay. Of course, that record was broken by Michael van Gerwen in 2014, but Wade has certainly proven himself to be worthy competition during his 24-year career.
Not only did Wade win the World Grand Prix in 2007 and 2010, he also won the UK Open three times (most recently in 2021), the Premier League in 2009, The Champions League in 2010, The Masters in 2014, and the European Championship and World Series of Darts in 2018. Still, the closest Wade has come to the PDC World Dart Championship is the semi-finals. Can he rise to another Premier League title, and will he even get the chance to do so this year? Only time will tell.
Michael Smith was the 2013 PDC Under-21 World Champion and has gone on to win eight titles on the PDC Pro Tour. This notorious runner-up is yet to win a major PDC title, but his track record makes him worth keeping an eye on. Smith famously dropped out of a college exam to play a darts tournament, a decision he describes as the best of his life. This local darts winner made his PDC debut in 2009 and has since become a full-time professional on the PDC darts circuit.
Smith lost the 2022 World Champion finals to Peter Wright, making the 2022 Premier League an even greater desire for this up and coming player.
Gary Anderson, or “The Flying Scotsman” as he’s affectionately known, is regarded as one of the best darts players of all time, despite not having won a major title since 2018. This two-time PDC world champion is famous for his smooth throws and heavy scoring. Anderson has a long and impressive list of title wins, including 31 PDC Pro Tour events. He’s had a rough past three years, which he himself described as “rotten,” but will 2022 be the year that turns his luck around? With so many fans backing this Scotsman, we see no reason why it couldn’t be.
This Welsh darts player is the defending Premier League Champion who is expected by many to participate in the upcoming League, following a remarkable season in 2021. Following the win of four major PDC events, Clayton shot up to eighth position in the world rankings, making him a key contender in the 2022 shortlist, which makes him well worth watching in the year ahead. “The Ferret,” as he is playfully nicknamed, won two Players Championship events early in 2021, followed by his Premier League win and Grand Prix Champion title. This former plasterer has made his mark on the world of darts, and we’re looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.
Rob Cross became the 2018 PDC World Darts Champion just 11 months into his professional darts career. He went through a mixed 2021, with a major loss against Gary Anderson and a victory at the European Championship. This former electrician earned the nickname “Voltage,” but does he stand a chance against the stiff competition for the upcoming PCD Premier League? According to a recent interview with Sky Sports, after earning his fourth major televised title, Cross is feeling more confident after a tumultuous 18-month period and ready to continue his winning streak.
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