Final play-off places up for grabs with trio in contention
The final week of the normal season of Premier League Darts is here, but the sport’s elite still have plenty to play for, ahead of the semi-finals.
Dutch Duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld have already confirmed their play-off place, but are still battling it out for top position. Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright, meanwhile, will nervously fight in their respective fixtures for the last two semi-final spots.
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
This is a dead rubber in terms of tournament purpose, with both competitors already out of contention to finish in the play-offs, but Chisnall can earn an extra £5000 if he holds on to seventh position, ahead of Robert Thornton.
With Lewis (8/11 odd-on favourite to win) assured of staying in sixth no matter what result he scores, back his opponent, despite his terrible form, to get a victory at 9/4.
Chisnall is a 180 specialist, and has gained more maximums than any other this season in the Premier league, so back him at 10/3 to record the most on the night.
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Van Barneveld comprehensively beat Anderson 7-2 earlier on in the season but, with the Scot needing a win to assure a play-off place and Barney already confirmed a semi-final berth, back a reverse victory at 5/4.
A draw (7/2) may be enough for fourth-spot occupier Anderson to qualify, as he is a point ahead of compatriot Wright – who faces league leader Van Gerwen – but he would not want to take his chances.
The 2011 champion is 8/1 to win the competition again, while RVB is 6/1 to get his first Premier League title.
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor
Taylor no doubt faces the easier opposition of the three chasing a play-off position and will take pride in the fact that Thornton is the only Scot he has managed to beat this season, so back him for victory again odds-on at 2/5.
The Power has carried on his remarkable revival, after his early season slump, and is now on a run of 10 matches without defeat. He is equal on points with Anderson ahead on leg difference by one, so a draw (9/2) for Taylor may also be enough for a semi-final berth.
Six-time Premier League champion Taylor is second-favourite to win the title again at 13/8.
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Perhaps Van Gerwen would have thought about taking this match lightly, after being top of the table by two points and six legs but, after Wright’s antics in their last battle, the Dutchman will want certainly not want to lose. He is odds-on at 1/2, with the Scot priced at 10/3. A draw is 9/2.
MVG (5/4 favourite to defend his title) did end up winning the game 7-5, but his post match interview strongly suggested he was riled and bemused by Snakebite’s attempts to please the crowd. This will no doubt be a fiery fixture again and back Van Gerwen to win by that scoreline again at 9/2.
If Taylor and Anderson both record victories earlier in the evening, then Wright would have no hope of qualifying anyway. He is, however, the 20/1 outsider to win the title in his debut season.