Week 8 of the Premier League rolls into Dublin’s O2 and the defending champion Michael van Gerwen has finally made his way to the top of the standings with the unbeaten Peter Wright still on course to make the semi-finals in a dream debut. £504.17 to a £10 stake.
The competition is at the business end now with half of the players knowing only a win will be enough to give them hope of making the London finals. Below are previews of all five of the night’s matches with the accumulator paying out a handsome
Gary Anderson to beat Wes Newton @ 5/6
If Wes Newton doesn’t have a good night then any semi-final dreams will be over with The Warrior scheduled to play twice after missing Exeter with illness.
His first match looked slightly easier than it does now with Gary Anderson in phenomenal form at the weekend in Crawley, defeating Phil Taylor in Saturday’s final to register his fourth title of the campaign.
In contrast, Newton struggled on both days, failing to win a game and with the pressure to impress Barry Hearn and co with next year’s competition in mind intensifying with every defeat Newton’s game could wilt.
Newton knows that two victories tonight would give him an excellent chance of making the O2 in London, however, since his absence he has only registered two legs in heavy defeats to MVG and Taylor and another difficult night is in store.
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall – To Draw @ 4/1
There aren’t many players who have such a commanding head-to-head record against the two-time World Champion but Dave Chisnall is one of them and he will know he will need to frank that form tonight to stand a chance of qualifying for the London finale.
Since picking up a win and a draw in the first two weeks it has been a story of what could have been with two draws and a pair of 7-5 reversals since.
Lewis has every chance of being the right side of the dotted line after finally being able to deliver some consistent results from week to week and although he will also know that a defeat will seriously hurt his hopes of qualifying the pressure will weigh heavier on his opponent.
Having said that the match is on a knife edge and the best route to a profit could be plumping for another draw – there have been eight in the last four weeks.
Simon Whitlock to beat Wes Newton @ 6/5
Newton’s propensity to win his second match will clearly be influenced by how he fares in his first and with that in mind the advice has to be to support Simon Whitlock.
One of the mysteries of this year’s event has been the woeful form of the popular Australian and he will need to win his next two matches to have a hope of avoiding the ignominy of relegation.
Whitlock was a finalist only two years ago but has notched just one win this time around, although it did come against Robert Thornton when he had the dubious duty of playing twice in a night.
The Wizard is not playing well but if Newton loses his first match his head could easily drop knowing that the semi-finals are out of reach and he must be opposed especially considering their previous meetings of which the ‘Beard To Be Feared’ has had the better of.
Michael van Gerwen to beat Peter Wright @ 1/2
Not many would have predicted that there would have been a top-of-the-table clash concerning these two players with only one week left, despite the pair contesting the World Championship final in January.
Peter Wright has been a revelation this year and with only two games left of the regular season he is still to taste defeat.
MVG is well on course to make the semi-finals and defend his crown and he will know a win tonight will almost certainly guarantee him top spot after Week 9.
He is understandably short to do that having bossed the majority of his previous meetings with Snakebite and the fact he has won all six of their televised encounters is encouraging.
Wright would understandably respond to that statistic by saying he is a far different proposition from the past but there have been signs in recent weeks that the magic is deserting him at crucial times with the two draws recorded in his last three the least he should have got on the night.
MVG has only missed a beat once in the competition so far and he is by far the most likely winner with the carrot of coming top of the pile awaiting the victor.
Phil Taylor to beat Raymond van Barneveld -2.5 legs @ 5/6
Phil Taylor was back to his very best at the weekend in Crawley’s Players Championship 4 and Raymond van Barneveld should be worried.
Taylor found only a resurgent Gary Anderson too good in Saturday’s event but blew the field away on Sunday with some vintage arrows.
The Power had been averaging above 100 all weekend but turned it on to reach the quarter-finals when notching an unbelievable 118.42 against Vincent van der Voort before just missing out on a nine-darter when failing to find the D18 in the last-eight.
It meant nothing in the end as Taylor marched on to add another piece of silverware and it all spells bad news for his Dutch opponent who would be searching for a long time to find any positives ahead of their Dublin engagement.
In 18 previous Premier League meetings, Taylor has never lost to Barney and has only drawn twice which makes the fact that this is still the biggest draw in the game even more remarkable.
Expect the 19th edition to be just as one-sided as Taylor continues his march towards more familiar surroundings in the table.
The six-time champion picked up his third and successive victory last week to move only a win away from the semi-final spot and despite the top billing this could be over quickly.
Barney isn’t in bad form – he hasn’t lost since Week 2 – but there have been so many times in the past where he has seemingly been in good touch only to get flattened by the Stoke thrower.
Barney is still on-course for the semi-finals but after tonight so will Taylor.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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