The latest round of Premier League Darts matches is the biggest of the season so far. With Judgement Night taking place next week this is the last chance for those in danger of relegation to get themselves into a position where they head to Cardiff with their destiny in their own hands.
For the rest there is another chance to pull clear from their competitors in what is shaping up to be quite a battle in the race for the spots at the o2 on finals night so this could be the most competitive night of action yet.
Michael van Gerwen is in action twice in Manchester on Thursday to make up for the Exeter leg of the roadshow when his back injury meant he couldn’t feature. That means there is no Dave Chisnall this week.
Michael van Gerwen vs James Wade
With van Gerwen playing twice on the night he opens up proceedings when he takes on James Wade first up. A win will take van Gerwen top of the table in the early stages of the night but Wade goes into the match third in the table and shouldn’t be completely discounted.
Despite Wade’s solid campaign so far you get the feeling this is all about the Dutchman. If he plays 90% and hits his doubles he will win but if he doesn’t hit the doubles we know Wade will be there to take advantage. I expect van Gerwen to win but I don’t see a lot of value anywhere.
Kim Huybrechts vs Gary Anderson
Things are pretty big for Kim Huybrechts heading into this week as he knows if he loses he will be eliminated from the tournament before Judgement Night even comes around. Gary Anderson will want to bounce back from last week’s mauling to get back among the top four.
I give Huybrechts a lot of credit for his performances so far this season but he hasn’t got the results they have deserved. I’m not convinced he’ll get the result here but by virtue of backing the Belgian to finish bottom I’m effectively on Anderson to win here as that win would probably see Huybrechts go bottom especially if it is by a big margin.
Peter Wright vs Phil Taylor
Usually seven weeks into a Premier League season it is Phil Taylor who heads the table but that honour is with Peter Wright who has looked supreme at times and is certainly backing up his win in the UK Open.
Interestingly these two have met five times in the Premier League and Taylor has never beaten Wright. They have drawn three times but that is still a crazy record. I think Wright will win this one too. Taylor has only averaged 97 or more once all season whereas Wright has put some insane averages together at times and with the throw if he can get off to a fast start he might not be for catching.
Jelle Klaasen vs Adrian Lewis
It is do or die for Jelle Klaasen too with him having to find a result of some kind to keep his chances of surviving Judgement Night alive. Adrian Lewis is already safe and now he will be concentrating on pushing on and making it to the o2.
We know Klaasen is suffering with a wrist injury which isn’t ideal and he has really struggled because of it but we also know through twitter that Lewis’ wife has been unwell recently so there are things affecting both men here. That makes leaving it alone the simple choice.
Raymond Barneveld vs Michael van Gerwen
We have to wait until the final match of the night for the pick of the games although that will only ring true if Michael van Gerwen can get himself back up after playing earlier in the night. We know Raymond Barneveld will be up for this and after his win over Gary Anderson in Rotterdam last week he should be buzzing.
I’ve said before I hate betting on these matches where a player plays for a second time and I certainly wouldn’t be backing van Gerwen. I might decide to have a value punt on Barneveld if van Gerwen looks out of sorts against Wade but if not I’ll just enjoy what will hopefully be another classic between these two.
Back P.Wright to beat P.Taylor for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with Bwin
Back him here:
Here is a link to my preview of last weeks action: