Back Taylor to turn on The Power in big battle with Barney
Week eight of Premier League Darts sees the event take place at the O2 in Dublin, where the match-up everyone has been waiting for, between powerhouses Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, will highlight the night. Michael van Gerwen’s top-two duel with Peter Wright is somewhat overshadowed.
The Power has finally found his finesse with his new battle weapons of late, having won three of his last four in the league, and is now fully back to form to face old foe Barney. Despite being three points and four places behind the Dutchman, Taylor has not lost against Van Barneveld in their last nine meetings and since 2011, and is odds-on at 4/9 for victory again.
Everyone will remember the infamous aftermath of the PDC World Championship semi-final between the two, where a brief scuffle overshadowed Taylor’s thrilling 6-4 win. Sparks are certain to fly, whether it be for the right or wrong reasons between the two friends, and as RVB has drawn his last three in the league, Coral’s price of 5/1 for the spoils to be shared look enticing.
Taylor recorded his highest average of the current season in week seven (106.91), and won a PDC ProTour title in Crawley at the weekend. Van Barneveld has a tough task on his hands if he is to disrupt the form of a man on a rampage, and is understandably priced at 10/3 to beat The Power for just the 12th time in 62 head-to-heads in all competitions.
The other big battle of the evening sees league top two Van Gerwen and Snakebite Wright fight for the right of top spot. Premier League favourite Van Gerwen (evens) leads on leg difference and is odds-on to inflict a first defeat of the season on his Scottish opponent.
Wright (3/1 for victory on the night) has only won one of his last three in the competition, however. Surely his strong performances and confidence have reached the summit, with the Dutch defending champion (8/15) ready to send him crashing down.
Title fourth-favourite Wright (13/2) scored the highest checkout the previous round, though, with a 161 finish, and is 9/1 to record the best of week eight.
Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis (8/11 for victory) faces Dave Chisnall (9/4) to keep his play-off place chances alive (4/9 to finish in top four). Chisnall has not won in his last six in the league and has odds of 7/4 to be in the bottom two and get eliminated from the competition after week nine.
Former champion Gary Anderson is odds-on at 8/11 to beat Wes Newton in the opening fixture of the evening. Newton (9/4) faces two matches on the night, after missing week five through illness. The Englishman goes into this battle off the back of two consecutive 7-1 league defeats, and has odds of 14/1 to lose by that margin again.
Newton’s second fight of the night is with fellow elimination zone occupier Simon Whitlock. There will not be much in this, as the Wizard starts as slight favourite at 6/5, while Newton is priced at 13/10. A draw here at 4/1 is the best bet.
Coral offer a special past champions week eight treble, with wins for Anderson, Van Gerwen and Taylor priced at an enticing 3/1.