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Premier League Darts Night Eight: Smith to keep pressure on Chizzy and Barney

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | March 23, 2016

Premier League Darts 2016

  • Night eight
  • Thursday, March 24th
  • Session from: 19:15-22:30
  • Echo Arena, Liverpool
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Elimination Night looms with Thorn at the double

Stars in the bottom half of the 2016 Premier League Darts table will nervously battle out their fixtures in Liverpool ahead of Elimination Night the following week, with two of them set to drop out.

Basement player Robert Thornton faces two fixtures this time out, after suffering from illness earlier in the season, meaning James Wade gets the night off and hoping to cling onto fourth place.

Adrian Lewis is the only one who can knock The Machine out of the play-offs this week, if he beats the mercurial Raymond van Barneveld in perhaps the crunch clash of the evening.

Table-toppers Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor, meanwhile, tussle with respective Scottish opponents Thornton and Peter Wright, while third-placed Gary Anderson takes on Dave Chisnall.

In the most important match of the night, The Thorn goes up against Michael Smith first with both hoping to climb from elimination places at the end of this session.

Michael Smith v Robert Thornton

2015 William Hill PDC World Championship - Day Five - Alexandra Palace

While Thornton can’t pull himself out of the drop zone by winning this match, due to his vastly inferior leg difference than Chisnall, who is two points ahead, he can do so by beating both Smith and Van Gerwen on night.

Easier said than done, though, as The Thorn (2/1 match chance with Coral) is still without a victory after gaining just one point so far, while Bully Boy (10/11) will be desperately wanting to prove himself and Mighty Mike is just an unstoppable force.

A draw might be the best outcome at 7/2, as despite Thornton’s dreadful form is still a winner having claimed three major titles in his career including the World Grand Prix last year.

Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall

2015 William Hill PDC World Championship - Day Fifteen - Alexandra Palace

Chizzy may have finished in the play-offs last season, but has really struggled this time around, gaining just one win and three points from seven matches.

He has the ability to beat anyone in the world on his day, especially when his 180s are firing, though has lost the previous four duels with world and Premier League champion Anderson, including the 2015 semis.

The Flying Scotsman seems to have found his touch after losing his first two matches this campaign, and is odds-on at 4/6 to defeat Chisnall (13/5) once more. A 7-4 scoreline in Anderson’s favour is priced at a more enticing 9/2.

Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Ten - Alexandra Palace

Two of the best players in recent times and multiple major winners go head-to-head next up in Liverpool, as past world champions Lewis and Barney collide.

Jackpot is the 11/10 favourite, having won their last four meetings, but Van Barneveld is so unpredictable you just can’t ever confidentially back against him against anyone!

The deadly Dutchman (7/4) actually boasts a 27-19 record over the much younger Lewis, and is desperate to avoid elimination with the penultimate Premier League week being held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the first time.

Phil Taylor v Peter Wright

Coral Taylor

Many thought that Wright would qualify for the play-offs for the first time this season, and he topped the table for two weeks, but has since slipped to sixth.

Snakebite (12/5) is still only three points behind Wade in fourth, but goes up against Taylor (4/5), who is back to his best and showing great determination to prove doubters wrong yet again after his fabulous comeback to draw with Van Gerwen last week.

This could be a tense finish, but back The Power to come through 7-5 at 7/1.

Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton

MVG

This could be so one-sided that Van Gerwen could win this 7-0 (priced 13/2) at the rate he’s playing of late, in this top-versus-bottom battle.

Mighty Mike is the heavy odds-on 1/16 favourite, but if you do fancy Thornton to go out all-guns blazing with almost nothing to lose if Smith beats him, then take tempting odds of 10/1. He did upset the world number one in the World Grand Prix final last year after all!

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Coral’s top tip: Van Gerwen is a tasty 13/2 to thrash Thornton 7-0.

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