Van Gerwen looking to battle back from Barney defeat
Week five’s highlight Premier League Darts match-up is no doubt the penultimate battle of the evening between Adrian Lewis (2/1) and Michael van Gerwen (5/6).
Reigning champion and current season favourite MVG (6/5) lost the previous week’s thrilling Dutch duel with Raymond van Barneveld (12/1 to win his maiden title) 7-5 in Glasgow, and Stoke’s Lewis will know now is the best chance to beat the man while he’s down as they meet in Exeter.
However, Van Gerwen will be like a wounded animal, and the loss to his five-time World Darts Champion compatriot was by no means a disaster, so he will be looking to bounce back from his first defeat of the season.
Van Barneveld (5/6 to win his match), joint-second in the table with his countryman, faces a slightly easier task than the week before against Dave Chisnall (2/1) – who has registered just one win and a draw from his first four fixtures.
Perhaps RVB’s laid-back attitude – and the fact he took part in no tournament at the weekend – will see him lose concentration after being on such a high from his victory over Van Gerwen, but it will be very difficult to bet against Barney this time. Coral are offering a double Dutch special at 5/2 for Van Barneveld and Van Gerwen victories.
From double Dutch to double Scotch, and Robert Thornton may need one as he tackles his undefeated fellow national Peter Wright in the night’s second head-to-head.
Eccentric league leader Wright (fourth-favourite at 8/1 to win the title) caused an angry post-match interview from Lewis after his antics in the 7-1 trouncing over the Englishman the week before, and is odds-on at 5/6 for victory again. Seventh-placed Thornton, however has a price of 2/1 to cause an upset.
On paper, Phil Taylor’s fight with Gary Anderson should be the biggest thrashing of the night, and Coral’s odds of 1/2 for The Power to win say so too. Taylor is still priced at second-favourite to win the Premier League Darts title at 3/1.
The six-time champion, however, finds himself second-bottom in the table with just one one victory – coming from the previous week’s defeat of Simon Whitlock – while his Scottish opponent is up in sixth. Anderson is 10/3 to inflict more misery on Taylor.
Exeter’s opening match sees Whitlock attempt to get off the mark against Wes Newton. The Aussie has been in torrid form in the league, with four straight losses, and it is not surprising he has been made second-favourite (6/4) to win for the first time this season.
Newton is flying high in the league up in fourth – just two points off top – and has odds of 11/10 to come through his encounter with the withering Wizard, but still remarkably second-bottom favourite to win the whole competition (66/1).