Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor managed to get his 2013 Premier League campaign back on track last Thursday with three points from a possible four in Dublin. But he may still have felt a little dejected coming away from the Emerald Isle after allowing the crowd to get to him in his second match of the night against Raymond van Barneveld.
Adrian Lewis, meanwhile, showed glimpses of his capabilities in the early exchanges with Michael van Gerwen in his only match seven days ago. However, he couldn’t maintain the level required for the entirety of the match and the 7-5 defeat served to all but confirm his absence from this season’s semi-final line-up.
There’s no argument to be made for siding with Lewis at big odds here to win the match. But one area where we can always take on The Power is in the 180s stakes.
Best Bet: Lewis to hit most 180s @ 1.66
Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock kept his Premier League hopes alive with an impressive 7-3 victory over Andy Hamilton last week. The Aussie will be looking for a minimum of two points from tonight’s daunting double header but if he can manage it then he’s right in the mix.
MVG, on the other hand, has no such concerns after he added another four points to his tally in Dublin. The young Dutchman is now four points clear at the top of the table and all but assured a semi-final berth.
Van Gerwen has the upper hand in head-to-heads between the pair, but Whitlock can take encouragement from a hefty 6-1 victory in their most recent meeting.
Although Van Gerwen doesn’t seem to be one to change his game depending on the pressure of the situation, if there was ever a time to take on Mighty Mike then it may be now, when there is very little on the line for him.
Best Bet: Whitlock (Draw No Bet) @ 4.00
Robert Thornton v Andy Hamilton
After bursting on to the Premier League stage, Robert Thornton is in danger of missing out on a top-four finish after back-to-back defeats to Whitlock and James Wade. This is a must-win game for The Thorn, as it is for Andy Hamilton.
The Hammer’s run of disappointing form is a slightly more disconcerting, with three consecutive losses. Defeat for either player here would put a huge dent in their semi-final aspirations.
Thornton won a close match 7-5 on the opening night of the tournament way back in February and I fancy him to nick another close one this Thursday. Perhaps even by the same scoreline, which can be backed at odds of 7.00.
Best Bet: Thornton to win @ 2.00
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Barney picked up a vital point against Phil Taylor last week, but the manner in which he achieved the result may well have done more damage than good.
Having led 6-4, a first ever Premier League win over The Power looked to be on the cards for the Dutchman, before he conspired to miss a total of five match darts and end up with only a point.
James Wade, meanwhile, continued his impressive Premier League campaign with another comfortable win, this time against the often tenacious Thornton; a result that left the Machine second in the Premier League table and on the cusp of the semi-finals.
These two battled out a 6-6 draw in their previous meeting, and it makes sense to keep the draw on side here. However, if pushed off the fence I’d fall on the side of Wade given his recent form.
Best Bet: Wade (Draw No Bet) @ 1.90
Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock
The second match of the night has proved to be somewhat problematic for most players who’ve been required to play two fixtures in the space of a couple of hours over the past fortnight. Rarely, if ever, has a player been able to maintain their standard from the first match going into the second.
So, no matter what happens earlier in the night don’t let it have an effect on how you approach your betting for this one.
The Power has the significant advantage in head-to-head matches, including a 7-2 win earlier this year in the Premier League. But I just feel that Whitlock may cope better with the double header and at odds of 5.25 he is worth taking a chance on.
Best Bet: Whitlock to win @ 5.25
Adrian Lewis v Robert Thornton
Lewis and Thornton will also be playing their second matches of the night when they meet for the last game of the evening this Thursday. Again, we shouldn’t pay too much attention to how either performs in their earlier games.
I’ve been one of Lewis’s most avid supporters in recent weeks, adamant that he will turn things around at some point. As mentioned above, there were encouraging signs in the opening gambit of his match against MVG last week and I’m going to give Jackpot one last chance to prove me right.
Best Bet: Lewis to win @ 2.20