After four months of going up and down the UK, Ireland and Europe it is time to determine the new Premier League Darts champion when the semi-finals and final take place on one night of potentially explosive darts action inside the o2 Arena in London on Thursday evening.
In Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson we have probably the best four players in the world toeing the oche to compete for the title which should make it one of the best ever final nights.
Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson
The evening gets underway with the table topping Michael van Gerwen meeting fourth placed Gary Anderson for the second week in a row. Van Gerwen won their meeting in Aberdeen 7-4 last week and he is an overwhelming favourite to win this match as well.
That would be fair enough I think given his form but he won’t have beaten Anderson before he gets on the stage like he has some others. Anderson has admitted he enjoys playing van Gerwen and I’m sure he’ll be up for this as he aims to regain his crown.
I think van Gerwen will win the match. I think he’ll just be too strong over this best of 19 leg distance but I don’t see Anderson rolling over or playing badly so the 4/5 the Scot averages more than 100.5 looks a big price to me. Anderson averaged 100.46 last week despite a bad finish and has a ton plus average in five of his last six Premier League matches. He can average more than a ton here.
Peter Wright vs Phil Taylor
The second semi-final sees Peter Wright, making his first appearance at the o2, taking on a Phil Taylor who is said to be making his last appearance at the London venue for the right to face either MVG or Anderson later in the evening.
These two shared their meetings in the Premier League regular campaign but over the last 12-18 months or so Wright has really understood that he can beat Taylor. I guess part of that is because Taylor can no longer outscore these players and he misses more doubles than he ever used to while Wright nails a lot more than previously.
I see this match being all about Wright. If he handles the occasion and hits his doubles I think he wins it. He has been in excellent form in the last month. He has won his last four Premier League matches for the loss of just nine legs which includes a 7-3 win over Taylor. I fancy Wright can cover a 1.5 leg cap here.
Michael van Gerwen is a warm favourite to win the tournament from here and you would have to say he would be the most likely winner but Peter Wright has two wins and a draw from their last four meetings so maybe the time might have come for Wright to do the Dutchman on one of the biggest stages.
At 5/1 Wright is tempting enough but playing second doesn’t help him and it might just be that the longer this final goes the fresher MVG or indeed Anderson powers away from Wright. I wouldn’t put anyone off taking Wright but the outright market doesn’t really interest me too much here.
WON – Back G.Anderson – Over 100.5 average vs M.van Gerwen for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with William Hill
Back P.Wright (-1.5 legs) to beat P.Taylor for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Boylesports