Premier League Darts Night One: Taylor takes on comeback king Barney
Holly Thackeray | February 3, 2016
- Premier League Darts 2016
- Night One
- Thursday, February 4th
- Session from: 19:10-22:40
- First Direct Arena, Leeds
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Premier League Darts returns with a bang
It’s the moment all darts fans have been waiting for, as the Premier League returns to delight live audiences around the UK, and Europe, until Finals Night at the 02 Arena in May.
Before then though, the PDC’s best and brightest have 15 nights over which to thrill, and kick off this coveted competition in Leeds, West Yorkshire, on what should be an enthralling opening evening.
Successive World Darts Championship winner and reigning Premier League holder Gary Anderson was due to start his defence against Adrian Lewis in a repeat of the recent Worlds final, but has pulled out of Night One with illness.
However, there are many other highlights to tickle your fancy, including a clash between darting heavyweights Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, while new boy Michael Smith faces a baptism of fire against both Peter Wright and Lewis. Watch the sparks, and arrows, fly…
Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Always one for putting on a performance, Scottish showman Snakebite will not want to lose his curtain raiser against young pretender Smith.
Having had his feathers, or scales, ruffled at The Masters, narrowly crashing out in the quarters to Taylor (again), Wright is 11/10 favourite with Coral to school Bully Boy in the art of pacing in the Premier League. After also winning six of his last seven scuffles with Smith, that price is more than generous.
Yet, Bully Boy also has a habit of pulling out the spectacular, and is that same 11/10 to notch most maximums on the night, much better value than at 4/5 to strike the first 180.
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Wade has really wobbled since he was ruthlessly ousted by eventual winner Anderson at the Worlds, and followed that disappointment up by falling too easily to Chizzy at The Masters.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Mighty Mike (1/3 match favourite) responded ferociously to his own setbacks by smashing the same Dave Chisnall to retain his Masters title.
Having romped through the rounds at Stadium:MK, value for MvG can be found in crowning the Dutchman at 7/5 to be King of the Oche (to win match, get most 180s and highest checkout – if any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers). While, Wade sits way back at 40/1 in that same market as The Machine attempts to iron out some serious glitches.
Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld
Two giants of the game meet again, to whip up a frenzy at the First Direct Arena and, with a previous Premier League draw between these juggernauts back in 2014, customers can swoop in at 7/2 for the same to happen here.
Both veterans struggled with form across 2015 but finally look close to being back to their best, which could make for a cracking if inconsistent battle. The Power pushed Van Gerwen all the way last time out so, in winning markets, the legendary English arrowsmith still looks fair at 8/11 to claim the spoils and evens to take out the first 180.
Robert Thornton v Dave Chisnall
In the last darting dust-up of the night, Chizzy will take to the Leeds oche against the returing Thornton. St Helens-born star Chisnall only just edged a prickly Thorn in their Masters meeting, and is now one ahead in head-to-heads, but is still 5/6 favourite here after coming within a match of claiming his first major.
With this pair so evenly poised, a 6-6 draw scoreline is 7/2 to occur, with 180 specialist Chizzy an excellent 7/5 to clock up a maximum in the first leg, and 6/5 to win the opening leg as well.
Adrian Lewis v Michael Smith
As Anderson is out of action, young Smith must face the gauntlet twice on his first Premier League outing and meet Lewis in the last clash of the night.
This situation is surely not ideal for either arrowsmith, but Jackpot’s experience is 10/11 to see him through. However, momentum could well be with Bully Boy (2/1), who has been a regular banana skin for his compatriot with seven wins to three.