Players Championship Finals: Anderson-Taylor clash in first round
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | November 26, 2015
First round evening session
- Players Championship Finals
- Friday, November 27th
- First round evening session begins: 19:00-23:00 GMT
- Butlins, Minehead, Somerset
- Live on ITV4
Big battles aplenty in Players Championship Finals evening session
The Players Championship Finals first round kicks off earlier in the day, but the evening session sees a number of tasty duels with current world champion Gary Anderson and all-time great Phil Taylor the pick of the bunch.
Other stars in action on Friday evening include Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis and James Wade.
Check out Coral’s first round afternoon session preview too.
Dave Chisnall v Joe Murnan
Chizzy (2/7 favourite) has been consistently good but not great since he shocked a number of stars to reach the Premier League play-offs earlier in the year, and has been given an easy task at the first stage in Minehead on paper.
However, Shaggy (13/5) has surprisingly won three of their four meetings, all being at PDC Pro Tour Players Championship events and all 6-4. He is a tempting 11/1 shout to triumph by that scoreline once more.
James Wade v Mark Webster
What a first round match-up this could be, but it isn’t even the clash of the round which just goes to show how competitive this year’s event is. These two left-handers tussle to meet one of Stephen Bunting and Benito van de Pas in the second round.
It is Wade (1/2) who has bragging rights ahead of this fixture, having won their last six meetings, but Webster (8/5) was a former finalist here back in 2011. This could go all the way, so back The Machine at 6/1 for a 6-5 victory.
Adrian Lewis v John Henderson
Highlander Henderson knows how to beat the big names in smaller events and has started to show his worth on the bigger stage too having recently reached the quarters at the European Championship.
It seems, though, that Scotsman Big Bad John (3/1) will be up against it when he faces last year’s runner-up Lewis (1/4), who is the tournament joint-third favourite at 15/2.
Robert Thornton v Jamie Lewis
Another Scot follows, and this time veteran Thornton is heavily fancied odds-on at 4/9 to beat young Welshman Lewis (7/4), who he’s defeated three times from four head-to-heads.
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Another crunch clash sees two of the sport’s brightest young stars lock horns, but 26-year-old Van Gerwen just so happens to be the world number one and in absolutely devastating form.
The question is, can 6/4 tournament favourite and 2013 champion Mighty Mike keep his outrageous run up? Or has he peaked perhaps too early just before the World Championship next month? We’ll all find out on Friday night, where he is odds-on at 1/9 to beat World Youth Championship title holder Brown (11/2).
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
In no doubt the battle of the round, and a fixture that has certainly been seen in many finals, one of these two darting giants must unfortunately fall at the first hurdle.
While both Anderson (11/10) and Taylor (8/11) have had their moments in the recent past of 2015, they’ve also had early exits, including the Scot most recently in his home country at the World Series of Darts Finals.
This too is set to go all the way, but back three-time champion Taylor just to edge it 6-5 at 11/2.
Ian White v Raymond van Barneveld
It is fair to say that Barney has had a very inconsistent year, but he has gradually found his form again in recent months and a win (4/6) over White (6/5) will be another confidence booster.
As long as the popular Dutchman can get off to a good start, he’ll know White will find it so difficult to catch up, as even the best in the game know that a rampant Barney is almost impossible to stop. Van Barneveld beat Diamond 6-3 in their last duel and so is 11/2 to do so again.
Peter Wright v Steve Beaton
Although there would be no reason to doze off after a thrilling session of darts, if anyone does need waking up at this stage then no doubt Wright is the man to do that with his enthusiastic walk-on display.
Snakebite (1/4) will round off the evening against The Bronzed Adonis (3/1), and shouldn’t really have a problem seeing him off as he still desperately chases his first premier event title.
Check out our darts archive here.
Coral’s top tip: Taylor and Anderson surprisingly go head-to-head in the first round, and The Power is great price at 11/2 to triumph 6-5 in a potential epic.