2024 Premier League: Michael Smith Determined to Ignore the Hype Surrounding Luke Littler

Michael Smith embraces his underdog status against Luke Littler, relying on his strategic play and impressive record. Unfazed by the hype, he focuses on a calm, confident performance in the semi-finals.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-05-23

Naim Rosinski

4 minutes read

As the Premier League Darts competition reaches its climactic finals, Michael Smith finds himself in a familiar position: the underdog. Despite an impressive record against his semi-final opponent, 17-year-old sensation Luke Littler, Smith is unfazed by the bookmakers and pundits who have cast doubt on his chances. With a relaxed confidence and a strategic approach, Smith is ready to prove his detractors wrong.

Bully Boy Calm Before the Storm

Michael Smith remains remarkably composed in the face of the pressure that comes with being the fourth favourite to lift the Premier League trophy. 

Reflecting on his underdog status, Smith told “It doesn't bother me whatsoever. All the pressures on them, I can just relax and chill out. I’ve played countless tournaments where I'm the outside favourite or the underdog. I just get on with my job and that's the end of it.”

This nonchalant attitude is a hallmark of Smith's career, where he has often thrived under pressure. His ability to remain calm and focused could be a crucial factor in his semi-final clash with Littler.

Proven Track Record Against Littler

Smith's confidence is not without foundation. He boasts an impressive record against Luke Littler, having won five of their seven meetings in the competition. Despite Littler's top performance in the league phase, many still consider Smith's experience and head-to-head success to be significant advantages.

“Bookies can put me down to whatever they want but it's up to me. I'll perform. If I play bad then yeah, I was the outside favourite, but if I do play the best game, I want to win it, and will win,” Smith asserted, demonstrating his determination to defy the odds once again.


Image credit: PDC

Strategic Approach to the Semi-Final

Smith has a clear strategy for his match against Littler, one that has worked well in their previous encounters. 

“Just keep dragging him down to my level, keep bringing it down to 90 averages and then I kick on the last three or four legs and put it up over hundred,” he explained. 

This tactic of levelling the playing field before stepping up his game has been a successful formula for Smith and one, he intends to rely on once more.

Ignoring the Hype

Michael Smith is well aware of the hype surrounding Luke Littler, but he refuses to let it affect his game. 

“Everyone’s listening to the hype, but I just put it to the back of my mind,” he said. 

By focusing on his own game and not getting caught up in the excitement around his young opponent, Smith aims to maintain his mental edge.

Equal Footing on the Oche

Ultimately, Smith’s views the match as a straightforward contest between two players. 

“At the end of the day, he’s got three darts in his hands, and so have I. He might have the crowd but if you if you don’t let the crowd get to you, it’s your own doing,” he stated. 

This pragmatic perspective underscores Smith's belief in his ability to control the game, irrespective of external factors.

Michael Smith's preparation for the Premier League finals showcases a blend of calm confidence, strategic planning, and a deep understanding of his own strengths and weaknesses. 

By embracing the underdog role and using his impressive form against Luke Littler as motivation, Smith is set to deliver a compelling performance in the semi-finals. Whether he can translate this into victory remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Michael Smith is ready to give it his all.

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Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.