New European Champion Peter Wright faces a tough task against Dave Chisnall, Stephen Bunting and Stowe Buntz in Group E; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from 11-19 November at the WV Active Aldersley – live on Sky Sports
Last Updated: 08/11/23 8:04pm
Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright could be at risk of an early exit at this year’s Grand Slam of Darts after being placed in a treacherous Group E, says former Premier League Champion, Glen Durrant.
Three-time runner-up Wright rediscovered his winning form by claiming the European Championship title last month, but has been drawn in a tough group that also features 2014 finalist Dave Chisnall, a resurgent Stephen Bunting and American newcomer Stowe Buntz when the tournament starts this Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Wright, a runner-up in 2017, 2019 and 2021, celebrated his first Premier televised ranking title in almost two years when he triumphed in Dortmund.
Although the Scot said the win could provide the springboard for a strong end to the 2023 season, his good friend Durrant appears worried about his chances.
Speaking on Love The Darts podcast, former Lakeside World Champion Durrant analysed Wright’s opponents ahead of the Grand Slam in Wolverhampton.
He said: “How does he (Stowe Buntz) express himself because it’s a big stage. When you walk to the Grand Slam for the first time and you’re up against the Peter Wright of this world, you can hide. Even down on the first leg, it could be crucial.
“If he can go 1-0 up, he might be able to relax and demonstrate his personality and his attributes, but yeah, he’s in an interesting one, really like that group, Bunting and Chizzy, in form players, so that’s not easy for Peter Wright to qualify.”
Durrant highlighted 53-year-old Wright’s chances due to his age, but praised his recent achievements.
“Sometimes you sort of get self-conscious, but he said he realises he’s over 50, his game was going downhill quickly, and he knows many players over the age of 50 who no longer have got their card,” explained 52-year-old Teesside ace ‘Duzza’.
“I sat there and thought it could be aimed at me or those other players over 50 who bounced back and that was a tremendous achievement Peter Wright did winning that European Championship and fair play to him.”
Durrant has also tipped St Helens star Chisnall as one of the ones to watch in Wolverhampton due to his red-hot recent form.
“Well Chizzy went into the World Grand Prix as a real potential favourite, so maybe this time he’s just go under the radar,” he added. “I think he’s playing the best darts of his life.”
Glory, glory Gary Anderson?
Selected in Group C along with Luke Humphries, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Steve Lennon, Durrant believes two-time finalist Gary Anderson can turn back the clock at one of his favourite events on the darting calendar.
“He just looks very balanced and he looks very at ease with his game,” said Durrant, the 2020 Premier League winner.
“His presence, his stance, just the way he was throwing the darts, he just looked absolutely unbelievable.
“It’s been a wonderful year for Gary and coming from a big fan of Gary Anderson, I think the world of darts is better for him being like that.”
Michael Smith (1)
Jonny Clayton (8)
Berry van Peer
Luke Humphries (4)
Dirk van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price (5)
Gian van Veen
Peter Wright (2)
Danny Noppert (7)
Michael van Gerwen (3)
Nathan Aspinall (6)
Schedule of Play
Saturday November 11
Afternoon Session (1300-1700 GMT – live on Sky Sports Arena)
Group Stage x8 – Groups B-D-F-H First Matches
Damon Heta vs Ricardo Pietreczko (H)
Andrew Gilding vs Brendan Dolan (F)
Ryan Searle vs Gian van Veen (D)
Chris Dobey vs Josh Rock (B)
Danny Noppert vs Haruki Muramatsu (F)
Nathan Aspinall vs Beau Greaves (H)
Jonny Clayton vs Berry van Peer (B)
Gerwyn Price vs Nathan Rafferty (D)
Evening Session (1900-2300 GMT – live on Sky Sports Arena)
Group Stage x8 – Groups A-C-E-G First Matches
James Wade vs Krzysztof Ratajski (A)
Rob Cross vs Martijn Kleermaker (G)
Dave Chisnall vs Stephen Bunting (E)
Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Gary Anderson (C)
Luke Humphries vs Steve Lennon (C)
Peter Wright vs Stowe Buntz (E)
Michael van Gerwen vs Fallon Sherrock (G)
Michael Smith vs Nathan Girvan (A)
Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from 11-19 November at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW