Gerwyn Price brutally labelled Luke Littler’s recent performances as “rubbish” ahead of the World Matchplay.

Littler was triumphant at the Poland Darts Masters last month. Since then, however, he’s lost two of his three matches. He was beat 6-5 by Robert Grundy in the first round of Players Championship 13 in Milton Keynes last week.

After edging out Ricky Wilson by the same scoreline at the next Pro Tour event the following day, he lost 6-3 to James Hurrell while averaging just 78. Price pointed out his poor form when asked if it’s nice to go under the radar with Littler and Luke Humphries dominating the showpiece events.

The Iceman told Online Darts: “I think it’s all eyes on one Luke at the minute cause Luke Littler’s not really doing much at all. I mean he was rubbish on the weekend in the Pro Tours.

“I know he’s probably a bit like Dimi (Dimitri Van den Bergh) and Kevin Painter, he’s a stage player. No doubt about it, he’s going to perform in the Matchplay.

“But Michael [van Gerwen] - what a first-round game that is. It’s going to be difficult for both of them but I think Michael will come out fighting. Who knows who’s going to win that one.”

Littler has been pitted against world No. 2 Van Gerwen in a mouth-watering first round tie. The Dutchman is one of the few players to hold a winning record over the 17-year-old, with five wins to his four.

Price, meanwhile, will play two-time semi-finalist Daryl Gurney in the opening match of the tournament. His 2024 has been blighted by undetermined health issues which forced him to pull out of the recent World Cup.

"I've never done well there,” he admitted. “I've reached the quarters, last 16, semi-finals and lost in the final to Michael. I'm playing well, I think the main thing is my head's not right.

"I haven't been as consistent as I want to be heading into these big majors. But anything can happen on the day."

2024-07-10T09:25:23Z dg43tfdfdgfd