Premier League Darts Week 14: Four in hunt for last play-off places
Just two rounds of fixtures remain in the regular Premier League season, and four of the eight players left in the competition are aiming to join already-qualified pair Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall in the play-offs.
Stephen Bunting and James Wade can’t reach the semis anymore, after drawing with each other last time out, while Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis have catching up to do if they want to displace Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld from the top four.
Here is our preview of week 14, which takes place at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena…
Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
There is no more pressure on Chizzy, who has had a remarkable season winning nine of his 14 fixtures to date, as he is way up in second place.
He goes up against fellow Englishman Bunting (2/1 with Coral for victory) next, who actually beat Chisnall (odds-on 10/11 favourite) 7-3 last time out. With neither having anything to play for, except pride and perhaps a slightly higher position, back a draw at 7/2.
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Lewis also gained a surprising result against runaway leader Van Gerwen this season, by sharing the spoils in Week 4. That result again is priced at 4/1.
Jackpot (7/2) simply needs a win to stand any chance of qualifying, but could still go out if both Barney and Anderson claim a point on the night. But Mighty Mike is always ruthless and will want to assure top spot. The Dutchman is the odds-on favourite at 8/15 for victory and a more enticing 4/1 to edge the match 7-5.
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Wade (8/5) is another that is out of contention for the play-offs, and is up against in-form Barney (6/5), who has won his last five on the trot.
Van Barneveld really made things tough for himself after starting the defence of his title by getting just two victories in his first nine, but has beaten the likes of all-time great Taylor, world number one van Gerwen and world champion Anderson since.
The Flying Scotsman threatened to stop Barney’s brilliant charge, as he accused the latter of putting him off, but it didn’t seem to affect the ice cool Dutchman as he saw off Lewis in the following match. Nothing, it seems, can stop Van Barneveld from stomping on at present, and he is a tempting 13/2 chance to reverse the 7-3 scoreline that Wade inflicted on him in Week 6.
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Like fellow Stoke star Lewis, Taylor knows he needs a win if he is to avoid missing out on the play-offs for the first time ever since the competition started way back in 2005.
Neither The Power (6/5) nor Anderson (8/5) have been in great form of late, so a draw is a tempting 10/3 shout. However, back Taylor to win a close 7-5 encounter at 15/2.