With three rounds of matches left in the Premier League Darts of 2016, the make-up of the Play Offs is starting to take shape. Phil Taylor will be at the O2 Arena on May 19, and a solitary point will book Michael van Gerwen’s spot in the final four.
For the rest, victory tonight in Birmingham is imperative. So who is in the box seat?
Peter Wright vs Phil Taylor
With Phil Taylor having already accumulated enough points to secure his place at the O2, you might expect a lessening of the intensity from The Power. Not a bit of it; he’s a born winner, and there will be no resting on his laurels in Birmingham. Bad news for Peter Wright fans, then.
With only three gameweeks left to go, now is the time for Wright to step up a gear or two. He has dropped out of contention for a top four place, but with two games this week he can claw his way back into the reckoning. But, he will need to improve rapidly after two 2-7 defeats on the bounce.
So the pressure is on Wright, and that could affect his performance level. We would anticipate Taylor to win this match, and we’re happy to support the Under 6.5 Maximums in the match at 8/11 – The Power is averaging just 2.50 per match and Wright is off the boil at the moment.
Raymond van Barneveld vs Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson has won his last four matches against Van Barneveld, and that is an interesting insight into a fixture here which is of significance to both.
The Flying Scotsman has two matches tonight, and victory in this one will take all of the pressure of his second. He’ll fancy the job, although four games without a win – albeit with three draws – is of significance. Barney still has a chance of making the Play Offs following victory last time out.
But the Dutchman’s numbers are down – he has averaged 97, 96, and 93 in his last three outings – and that probably won’t be good enough to get the job done against Anderson. But he has a habit of turning it on when it matters; so avoiding the outrights is the advice. Instead, let’s add the Over 10.5 Legs to our acca: this has come in 9/10 of this pair’s combined matches.
Adrian Lewis vs Robert Thornton
The Play Off dream is over for Robert Thornton, and how that manifests itself in his performance here is anyone’s guess; averaging 93 in a 2-7 loss to Taylor last week suggests not for the better.
Adrian Lewis is clinging to his top four spot in the table by his fingertips, but victory here will enable him one foot in the semi-finals. His recent form reads L-W-W-D-W-L, and against Barney last week he averaged a paltry 90. Will the real Aidy Lewis please stand up!?
Nevertheless, the Stoke thrower should get the job done against a hapless Thornton, so let’s add Lewis -2.5 Legs to our acca here.
James Wade vs Michael van Gerwen
It would be an unlikely double, but that’s exactly what James Wade could achieve over Michael van Gerwen with victory here.
Can he do it? Well, if he averages 95, 97 or 99, as he has done in his last three matches, then perhaps not. Mind you, he beat the Dutchman with a 97 average in week one; but you can expect a different MVG here.
The Green Machine is unbeaten in 12 Premier League matches, and in his last three outings has averaged 117, 110 and 97. And be under no illusions, he will want to gain revenge on The Machine in this one.
Van Gerwen is too short at 1/7 to be backed outright, but we can back him in the Most 180s market and add this to our acca; he has tossed 53 in the competition compared to Wade’s 30.
Peter Wright vs Gary Anderson
Bit of a cop out this, but betting on the last match of the night has proven to be fraught with danger. The performance levels of the players involved are significantly lower than in their first matches of the night, and so we’re happy to avoid this one.
- Taylor vs Wright – Under 6.5 Maximums (8/11)
- Van Barneveld vs Anderson – Over 10.5 Legs (1/2)
- Lewis vs Thornton – Lewis -2.5 Legs (4/5)
- Wade vs Van Gerwen – MVG Most 180s (4/9)
- Four-Fold Acca pays at 5.75/1