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Now or never for ‘The Power’ to end his league blip

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor goes into week three of this season’s Premier League Darts still yet to get off the mark. The six-time winner lost his opening two matches against Michael van Gerwen and fellow Stoke pal Adrian Lewis, and now finds himself second-bottom in the table.

Taylor faces undefeated Peter Wright in what could prove to be another difficult encounter. The Scot faces his third-consecutive English opponent, after his 7-3 win over Wes Newton and the 6-6 draw with Dave Chisnall.

With odds of 4/7 for a Taylor victory, the World Championship runner-up will need to up his game, but back Wright at 11/4 to win.

The final, and arguable the highlight, fixture of the night sees darting giants Raymond van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock lock horns. Both players are level in their head-to-heads at nine-all, but it is the Dutchman who goes into his match-up odds-on favourite at 4/5.

Neither have 100 per cent win records from their opening two league battles but current bottom-of-the-table Whitlock knows he needs a result. Back him at 2/1 for a victory or 4/1 for the match to be drawn.

Defending champion and current second-placed Van Gerwen faces fellow undefeated Chisnall. The Dutch world number one is favourite to finish the season top again at 5/4 and is odds-on at 2/5 to see off his week three opponent.

Van Gerwen goes into this match on the back of his title-winning triumph in his homeland the weekend before.

The first all-Scottish scrap in the league this year is between Robert Thornton and Gary Anderson. Thornton is yet to get a point and is the underdog here too with odds of 13/8 compared to his compatriot’s price of evens.

Week two’s Taylor conqueror Lewis is up against fellow Englishman Newton. The former has won both of his matches this season and finds himself top of the table on point difference. He is odds-on favourite at 4/9 to continue his confident start.