Rob Cross sends message to Luke Littler ahead of Premier League showdown

Luke Littler and Rob Cross meet again on Thursday night (Picture: Getty Images)

Rob Cross gets another crack at Luke Littler in the Premier League on Thursday night after their epic World Championship semi-final last month and he is out for revenge.

Littler won that memorable battle at Alexandra Palace 6-2, storming into the World Championship final, where he would ultimately be beaten by Luke Humphries.

The Nuke got one back on Cool Hand last week on the opening night of the Premier League, beating him in the quarter-finals, and Cross is hoping he can do the same to Littler.

‘Luke is an amazing kid but I still want to beat him,’ said Cross ahead of his clash with the teenager on Thursday night in Berlin.

‘I genuinely don’t think any of the more experienced guys like myself, Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price or Peter Wright actually think of him as a 17-year-old teenager. We just see him as someone we have to beat on the stage.

‘He conducts himself brilliantly, he acts like he’s been around the sport for years the way he handles the pressure and the media.

‘It’s a big match for both of us. My doubles cost me big time in Cardiff. My scoring has been the best of my career. So if I sort the finishing, I’ll be dangerous.’

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Michael Smith triumphed on Night One in Cardiff (Picture: Getty Images)

Cross and Littler fell at the semi-final stage last week, with the former losing to Gerwyn Price and the latter to eventual champion Michael Smith, with last week’s finalists clashing in the quarters this time around.

Smith said of his opening night victory: ‘Winning is winning, and I love to do it! There are still plenty of things to work on, but to get five points on the opening night is always nice!

‘I sent out a statement saying I know how to win – even if I’m struggling, I can still take out important shots and put everything together at the right time.

‘I’ve got momentum going into Night Two, and there’s no pressure on me to chase points.’

Peter Wright is fighting to find some form again (Picture: Getty Images)

Peter Wright is taking on world champion Humphries on Thursday as he looks to find some form amid a seriously sticky patch for Snakebite.

‘I could have quite easily said I’m retiring after the World Championship,’ said Wright, who averaged just 83.78 in last week’s defeat to Cross.

‘There’s hunger and fight. I’ve not retired. I’m not rolling over. There’s loads to come this year. I will win loads of titles.

‘I played poorly last week, but I was so nervous. I was trying a few things behind the scenes and I was shaking.

‘I’ve always got on well with Luke, and I respect all the practice he’s done and the weight he has lost. He has shown dedication which shows other players that if you do that, you can get results too.’

Michael van Gerwen admits he is struggling for consistency (Picture: Getty Images)

Michael van Gerwen, the defending champion, lost his opener in Cardiff to Smith, but has since been to the final of the Masters, coming up short against Stephen Bunting.

‘There is lots more to come from me,’ he warned. ‘I was a little shaky the whole game against Michael [Smith], and this just shouldn’t happen to me. Simple as that.

‘I am not in form yet. I’m still struggling here and there, and I know I can do a lot better.’

Premier League Night Two fixtures

Quarter-finals
Nathan Aspinall v Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price
Luke Littler v Rob Cross
Luke Humphries v Peter Wright

Semi-Finals
Aspinall/Van Gerwen v Smith/Price
Littler/Cross v Humphries/Wright


MORE :
Nathan Aspinall speaks out on ‘disgusting’ abuse amid form struggles


MORE : Michael Smith says Luke Littler attention helped him win Premier League Night One

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