Premier League Darts Week 1: Taylor and Anderson in re-match
Premier League Darts is back and Coral provide punters a preview of Week 1’s action that is to be held at Leeds’ First Direct Arena, which saw a record attendance of 11k last year.
There is a terrific line-up in store on Thursday, February 5th, with title second-favourite Phil Taylor (5/2) to be given the chance to get revenge on his PDC World Championship conqueror Gary Anderson (9/2) in the penultimate match.
Other tasty encounters include reigning Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld against 2011 finalist Adrian Lewis, who were also involved in an epic clash at the Ally Pally, while new boy Stephen Bunting takes on returning 2009 winner James Wade.
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Chizzy and Snakebite (both 11/8 for victory) kick off this year’s tournament, and there is not much to separate these two in terms of recent head-to-heads, as they have two wins apiece from their last five meetings.
One of those was a draw, though, at the Premier League last year, and that outcome again is priced at 10/3.
Chisnall is somewhat of a 180 specialist, as he threw the highest amount in the league in 2014 with 64, and he is the even-money favourite to get over 3.5 against Wright and 7/2 for the most maximums of the night.
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
This duo produced an epic encounter at the World Championship last 16, with Barney eventually prevailing 4-3, despite Lewis getting a nine-darter and winning the most legs.
Jackpot is the even-money favourite with Coral this time around, but back Van Barneveld at an enticing 15/8 to triumph, as he has in three of their last four meetings, including in the Premier League last year.
Barney (20/1 to retain the title) won 7-3 that day in their second duel of the competition, and the Dutchman is a tempting 12/1 chance for that scoreline once more. A draw, meanwhile, is priced at 7/2.
Kim Huybrechts v Michael van Gerwen
World number one Van Gerwen (2/1 title favourite) takes on Premier League debutant and tournament outsider Huybrechts. Mighty Mike may be odds-on at 4/9 for victory, but he hasn’t had it all his way against the Belgian, holding only an 8-7 head-to-head advantage.
The Hurricane even won their last meeting in the quarters of the Grand Slam of Darts and is a tempting 4/1 shout for victory again. A draw at 9/2 is probably Huybrechts’ best chance of getting points here, though.
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
In the tastiest battle of the evening, six-time champion Taylor goes up against 2011 winner Anderson, who is our pick to lift the trophy.
The Power (11/8 for victory) enjoyed playing here in Leeds last time, thrashing Wes Newton 7-1, but has won just one of the previous six matches against The Flying Scotsman, and started the tournament very slowly last year.
World Champion Anderson, therefore, is also a tempting 11/8 chance to defeat Taylor once more, just a few weeks after edging him in the final at Ally Pally. The Scot beat The Power 7-5 in the Premier League group stage last year, on his way to reaching the semis, and is an 8/1 chance for that scoreline again.
Stephen Bunting v James Wade
These two also clashed at the PDC World Championship this winter, with debutant Bunting (11/8 for victory) beating Wade (also 11/8) 4-1.
BDO world champion in 2014 The Bullet also boasts a 3-1 record over Wade, including triumphing in all three last year, and you can back him to be King of the Oche (winning the match, most 180s and highest checkout) at 9/2.
Bunting is Coral writers’ outside pick to reach the play-offs, at 7/4, and is 14/1 to claim the title. Wade, who won this tournament in 2009 but was not included in last year’s line-up, meanwhile, is also 7/4 to finish in the top four.