Cross targets Premier League glory

Rob Cross (right) and Michael van Gerwen stand alongside the Unibet Premier League trophy. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross (right) and Michael van Gerwen stand alongside the Unibet Premier League trophy. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World darts champion Rob Cross will be gunning for Unibet Premier League glory tonight (Thursday).

The St Leonards-based world number three is one of four men chasing the £250,000 first prize at The O2 in London.

Cross will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen in the first semi-final for the right to play Gary Anderson or Michael Smith in the final later in the evening.

“I want all the biggest titles in darts and it would be an amazing one to add to my portfolio,” said Cross, a 7/1 chance who will be playing in his fourth televised semi-final.

“I will go into the match with a fearless mindset - if you want to win it, you’ve got to beat the best players.

“I’m happy to be playing Michael in the semis, because he never loses many of the finals he plays in, but he has lost a few semis.”

The four men who will contest the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs at The O2 tonight. From left: Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross and Michael Smith. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The four men who will contest the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs at The O2 tonight. From left: Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross and Michael Smith. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Cross will be making his Play-Offs debut having recorded eight wins in his maiden Premier League campaign to secure his spot at The O2. He recovered well to finish fourth in the league phase following a slow start to the competition.

Van Gerwen will be targeting a fourth Premier League title and will be out to avenge his World Championship semi-final defeat to Cross over the festive period.

Van Gerwen recorded two 7-2 victories over Cross in the league stage of this year’s tournament and the Dutchman is aiming to reach his sixth consecutive Premier League final.

“I’m feeling quite confident ahead of my game with Rob,” said van Gerwen, who has topped the league stage every year since his debut in 2013 and is the 1/2 favourite with sponsors Unibet to scoop today’s title.

Rob Cross holds the trophy aloft. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rob Cross holds the trophy aloft. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

“He’s not in the best form of his life, he’s not got that edge to him that he had in the World Championship when he beat me, but you always have to be careful with him because he is a danger.

“I need to make sure I keep doing what is good for me, I have just one thing on my mind - to beat them all.”

A crowd of 10,000 fans will pack The O2 to see the tournament’s conclusion and the action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from 7pm.

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