JOE Cullen's hopes of finishing in the top four and therefore qualifying for Premier League finals night have increased, even if he would not have wanted it to happen this way.

The Bradfordian's scheduled quarter-final opponent in Sheffield tonight, James Wade, fell ill over the weekend while playing in the European Open in Germany, an event that saw Cullen reach the third round before being knocked out by Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Wade had tests after suffering symptoms including a racing heart, high blood pressure, nausea and dizziness and spent time in a hospital in Leverkusen.

And while Wade is thankfully now back home, he will not be playing tonight in South Yorkshire.

That means Wyke thrower Cullen will receive an automatic 6-0 win and bye into the semi-finals, giving him a guaranteed two points.

That means he will stay in fifth but start the night on 17 points instead of 15, just three behind fourth-placed Peter Wright ahead of proceedings getting underway.

Tonight marks the third-last Premier League night of the regular season, with finals night in Berlin next month.