Cross to face world number one in Birmingham

Darts superstar Rob Cross will be aiming to make absolutely sure of his place in the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs tonight (Thursday).

Monday, 7th May 2018, 11:43 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:30 am
Rob Cross celebrates a successful dart during his previous Unibet Premier League meeting with Michael van Gerwen on night one in Dublin. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The St Leonards-based world champion will face world number one and league leader Michael van Gerwen at Arena Birmingham.

Cross, who sits third in the table, has all but secured his place at The O2 on May 17, but needs one more point from his remaining two games to confirm it.

Having battled his way to successive 6-6 draws against Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld in the past fortnight, Cross will be looking to keep his unbeaten run going against van Gerwen.

“It’s a massive challenge,” admitted Cross, who famously defeated van Gerwen in their epic semi-final clash at the 2018 World Championship.

“He’s the world number one for a reason and he’s fantastic, so you know you’ve got to play well to beat him.

“I want to secure my place in the Play-Offs and I’m feeling positive. Every week’s been a new experience for me and it’s all still a learning curve.

“I couldn’t have predicted how things went in the first couple of weeks, but I’ve adapted since and it’s been a great experience.”

Cross was beaten 7-2 by van Gerwen when the pair met on the opening night of the competition in Dublin back in February.

He is rated 9/2 with the competition sponsors to win tonight’s match, with van Gerwen 4/9 and the draw 4-1. The action will get underway from 7pm live on Sky Sports, with Cross’s match the second of four on the schedule.

Unibet Premier League standings (all played 14 matches): 1st Michael van Gerwen 21 (+40), 2nd Michael Smith 18 (+24), 3rd Rob Cross 18 (+10), 4th Gary Anderson 17 (+17), 5th Daryl Gurney 14 (+1), 6th Raymond van Barneveld 13 (-12), 7th Simon Whitlock 12 (-15), 8th Peter Wright 11 (-23).

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (