Premier League Night 16 Review: Michael Smith Qualifies, Luke Littler Tops The Table In Debut Season

Published on 17 May 2024 at 07:45

Michael Smith secured the final spot in next week's Premier League play-offs at the O2 Arena, But he will have a difficult task ahead of him next Thursday as he will play Luke Littler in the semi-finals, after the 17-year-old finished the league phase of his debut campaign in 1st place!

'The Bully Boy' came through a tense winner-takes-all quarter-final match against Nathan Aspinall, with the highlight being Smith's monstrous 132 checkout late on in the match (Bull, Bull, D16) to break the Asp's throw and once again finish in the Premier League top four.

For Aspinall it was more Premier League heartbreak, after he was similarly denied a top 4 spot on the very last night of qualifying in last year's campaign too.


Finishing in 4th place in the league phase, Smith will now play Luke Littler at the O2 in London for a place in the 2024 Premier League final. Smith boasts a positive record against 'The Nuke', with five wins out of the seven games played between them. But as no.1 seed, Littler will indeed enter his maiden Premier League final as the Bookies' favourite to win the entire thing. 


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Smith will also be carrying some immense momentum heading into London, as he not only beat Littler in a last leg shootout, but also World No.1 Luke Humphries en-route to victory in Sheffield.


The Bully Boy beat Cool Hand 6-3 to take only his second nightly win of the campaign, having won the very first night of the season in Cardiff.

For perhaps the first time in his career, the seven time and reigning Premier League champion Michael Van Gerwen will enter the O2 as one of the outsiders to win the event at the playoff stage. An inconsistent campaign, fluctuating between three consecutive nightly wins and several first round exits, Mighty Mike will likely have to beat both Luke Humphries and Luke Littler if he wants to extend his PL title record and cement his status as the best player in the world.


Thursday night was also potentially the Premier League swan song for Peter Wright: with only two matches won across the last 16 weeks, it will take some truly special performances across the rest of the televised majors to see 'Snakebite' not only keep his Premier League status, but also his current ranking within the world's top eight players.


By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


Image Credit: Sven Mandel on Wikipedia

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