Premier League Darts: Joe Cullen and James Wade convinced of surprises


Joe Cullen has made the play-offs on his Premier League debut (Image: Getty Images)

Joe Cullen and James Wade go into tonight’s Premier League play-off semi-finals as underdogs, but both are confident they can cause an upset.

Debutant Cullen meets defending champion Jonny Clayton on Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, while Wade meets five-time champion Michael van Gerwen.

Clayton defeated Cullen in the last of the 16 mini-tournaments in this event but the result was reversed the week before when the Yorkshireman beat the Welshman to win Night 15.

The rock star and the ferret are good friends, so Cullen knows what to expect from Clayton and believes that if he plays at his peak, he’ll be in the finals.

“I always felt like I was made for the Premier League and I think by getting into the play-offs I justified my place,” Cullen said.

“When I was selected for the Premier League, my goal was to reach Finals Night. I’m here now and I’ll be ready.

Jonny Clayton aims to defend his Premier League title (Image: Getty Images)

“I’ve beaten Jonny in a couple of big games this year. He knows what I can do, I know what he can do. So if we both do our best, it should be a great night.

Wade has a tough task ahead of him in Van Gerwen but he only beat the Dutchman 10-4 in Saturday’s Nordic Darts Masters and will not be afraid when he takes to the stage in Germany.

“I think I have more titles in me,” said the machine. “I’ve never achieved what I’m capable of, but I have a lot more in the tank.

James Wade won his only Premier League title 13 years ago (Image: Getty Images)

“I know my best things are yet to come. I’ve proved people wrong throughout my career, and I will continue to do so for as long as I choose to do so.

“I feel like if I’m in the right mood and I want to tune in, I can produce, so that’s a good thing.

“I’m not nervous. I’m confident, I’m feeling positive and I’m in a good place.’

Premier League Playoffs

Semifinals – Best of 19 Legs

8pm UK time
Jonny Clayton vs. Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen vs James Wade

Final – Best of 21 Legs
Clayton/Cullen vs Van Gerwen/Wade

Van Gerwen may be the clear favorite at bookmakers but he knows what to expect from Wade and continues his quest to rediscover the level of performance that saw him win the Premier League five times in seven years from 2013 to 2019 .

“I want to concentrate fully on the play-offs now, everything is geared towards Monday. I have to make sure my head is right,” he said.

“Aside from the World Cup, the Premier League is the biggest tournament so it’s a very important night for me.

‘I’m ready. I’ve been away from home for 16 weeks and this is why.

“I know I can do a lot of damage, but James Wade is James Wade. He didn’t win ten TV tournaments for nothing, so I have to stay sharp and not make any mistakes.”

MORE : Darts’ next superstar Luke Humphries on coping with pressure, dealing with fear and making dreams come true

MORE: Joe Cullen happy to ‘silence a few people’ as he books Premier League Darts play-off spot

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General Sports Premier League Darts: Joe Cullen and James Wade convinced of surprises

Nate Jones

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