Premier League play-offs preview: Can MVG make it number 8?

Published on 22 May 2024 at 20:00

Well, it's that time of year again, when four of the world's best arrow-smiths take to London's O2 Arena to find out who will be crowned the 2024 BetMGM Premier League Darts champion. Over the last 16 weeks, Luke Littler, Luke Humphries and Michael van Gerwen have been the standout performers with four nightly wins each. Meanwhile, Michael Smith sneaked his way into the final play off spot last week in his crucial decider against Nathan Aspinall. However, as history tells us, form goes out the window when it comes to the O2...



Luke Littler

Starting at the top, Luke Littler, unsurprisingly, has had the best possible start to his Premier League debut so far. The 17 year old took his time to get his first nightly win, but since then has gone from strength to strength. The format of the competition seems to suit 'The Nuke' as it allows him to occasionally try his unconventional out-shots and play with freedom, something the youngster clearly thrives upon. That being said, as we all know, the play-offs are a different ball game from the league stage, so will Littler be able to handle the pressure and play freely? If he does, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.


Luke Humphries

'Cool Hand Luke' also had a shaky start to this year's Premier League following his victory at the Ally Pally in January. The world number one found himself in sixth place after five weeks. However, from this point he showed why he is world champion, winning nights 6, 7 and 8 to put him back on track in the top half of the table. While the league stage format suits Littler, the longer matches in the play-offs will certainly favour Humphries, who has shown over the past year that he's the most consistent player in the PDC.


Read more: Premier League night 16 review - Michael Smith qualifies, Luke Littler tops the table in debut season


Michael van Gerwen

Despite winning the competition a record seven times already, MVG won't be going into the play-offs as the favourite, however something tells me that it won't bother him too much. While not always playing at his robotic, brilliant best, van Gerwen's quality shone through early on in the league phase, winning in Berlin, Glasgow and Newcastle three weeks on the bounce. Since then, 'The Green Machine' has been fairly inconsistent, hence why he's finished in third place with four nightly wins, but you can never write off the Dutchman, especially at the business end of major tournaments.


Michael Smith

Perhaps for Michael Smith it could be a case of hitting form at just the right time, following his victory in Sheffield last week. Prior to this, 'Bully Boy' hadn't registered a nightly win since week one in Cardiff, meaning last week's triumph should do his confidence the world of good. It'll be Smith's third appearance at the O2, with the previous two coming in 2018, where he lost to van Gerwen in the final and 2023, where he was knocked out in the semi-finals. On paper, Smith will be the outsider, but as a former World Champion, everyone knows he is more than capable of performing on the night.


Read more: Michael Smith and Brendan Dolan prevail in gruelling Players Championship events in Germany



For me, the winner of Humphries v van Gerwen will win the Premier League. MVG has the most Premier League titles for a reason, and he'll be doing everything in his power to extend his record. As for Humphries, the consistency he has shown, especially in tournaments with longer formats, mean for me he has to be the favourite. 

As for Littler v Smith, despite Smith's late resurgence, I don't think he'll have enough to defeat Littler, however, equally it won't be an easy ride for 'The Nuke'.

To cut a long story short, I think it'll be a repeat of the World Championship, with once again Humphries defeating Littler in the final. 


Do you think it's destined for an 'all-Luke' final? Can MVG make it number eight? Or will 'Bully Boy' throw a spanner in the works? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

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