Peter “Snakebite” Wright faces tough task to win Premier League

Peter Wright

Peter Wright - Credit: PA

Suffolk darts legend Keith Deller believes Mendham’s Peter “Snakebite” Wright will have to pull out all the stops to lift this year’s Betway Premier League title.

Scotland-born Wright, the 2014 World Championship runner-up, begins his Premier League campaign tomorrow night when he faces competition debutant Michael Smith at the First Direct Arena, in Leeds – a tournament that will be screened live on Sky TV.

Wright’s best finish in the Premier League was in 2014 when he came fifth but, with a plethora of world class talent standing in his way, Deller thinks the 45-year-old will have to be on top of his game to go all the way.

Ipswich’s Deller, the 1983 BDO world champion, who currently manages another of the Premier League stars, Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis, said: “Peter is playing very well at the moment and is very strong, but if the likes of Michael Van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Adrian (Lewis) play at their top level, he will get beat.

“He is very consistent at the top level but he has yet to win a major title.

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“I expect him to come through the league OK and possibly reach the semi-finals, but I think it will be tough for him to win it.”

Deller added: “He changed his darts a lot in the past, which was a bit of a gimmick, but he is sticking with one set now and will be a tough opponent.

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“He has the respect from the top players as they know he can turn them over and I know he is confident of his chances.

“He also adds a bit of fun to the events which is good for the game.”

Defending champion and 2016 PDC World champion, Anderson, starts off against Lewis, while 2013 winner, Michael Van Gerwen takes on 2009 champion, James Wade.

Also on the fixture list is Robert Thornton against Dave Chisnall, while there is the small matter of six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor, going up against his big rival Raymond van Barneveld.

“This is the first time the top-10 players in the world will be involved in the Premier League, but I think you will still be looking at Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis as your four favourites,” added Deller, who will be hoping “Jackpot”, the 2011 runner-up, can go one step further this year.

“Adrian has never hit his best form in the Premier League because you don’t automatically get knocked out if you lose, so he has never been full on in the tournament, “ Deller explained.

“This year he is going to be treating every game like a final and we have discussed how every game you lose makes it harder to reach the semi-finals.

“He has got a tough start but there are no easy games at this level.”

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