Battle for play-offs still so tight with three weeks of regular league season to go, ahead of fixtures in Birmingham
With just three more weeks of the Premier League Darts regular season to go, all eight players left can still qualify for the play-offs, with just three points separating fourth and eighth.
The highlight of the night is no doubt Michael van Gerwen’s clash with Phil Taylor, but Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis have chance to leapfrog The Power into the top four as they both face two battles in Birmingham.
We give our predictions for the five fixtures…
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
Chizzy demolished Lewis last time out in the league 7-2, but the bookies still fancy the latter for victory. That is perhaps due to the duo’s differing form, as second-placed Chisnall has lost his last two, while Jackpot is unbeaten in his previous four, winning three. Back a draw, therefore.
PREDICTION: Chisnall 6-6 Lewis – 7/2 with Paddy Power
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
World champion Anderson is another high-flyer that has faltered in recent weeks, having won just one of his last five. That run began on Elimination night where Barney claimed a crucial draw to keep in in the league, and that is a probable outcome once more, as the Dutchman is in great form, and now on the brink of a top four place. Betway’s fabulous odds of 4/1 on a draw are well worth taking.
PREDICTION: Van Barneveld 6-6 Anderson – 4/1 with Betway
James Wade v Stephen Bunting
This is a clash between the league’s bottom two, and one of the duo need to win to have any chance of reaching the play-offs. Wade, who was champion in 2009, seems to have lost his desire this year after a decent start to the campaign, as he is without a win in five, while Bunting showed he wants a play-off place more after his 7-1 thrashing of Anderson last week.
PREDICTION: Wade 3-7 Bunting – 10/1 with 888.com
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Six-time champion Taylor is hanging onto the final play-off place, but only just, and he needs a win in Birminggham, as the two players behind him (by a point) have two matches on the night. Lucky for The Power, he faces Mighty Mike at the right time, as the league leader has lost two of his last three. A draw seems the most likely outcome, though.
PREDICTION: Van Gerwen 6-6 Taylor – 4/1 with SkyBet
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Barney has claimed he’s suffered from fatigue this year, and has had to cut down in tournaments to take part in, but is seemingly fully focused on the Premier League and defending his crown. A second fight on the night will be a challenge for him, but he has a good record over Lewis and should edge this.
PREDICTION: Lewis 5-7 Van Barneveld – 6/1 with BoyleSports