The PDC Premier League darts could well witness a landmark changing of the guard in Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena with a repeat of the most recent World Championship final on the card.
In the penultimate round of fixtures for the PDC’s roadshow event, four men are still battling for two places in the play-offs and one of those is six-time champion Phil Taylor.
The Power’s stranglehold on the game’s top prizes has gradually been waning over the past few seasons under the threat of a new vanguard led by Michael van Gerwen.
However, the Stoke legend has at least made the Premier League play-offs in every edition since 2005; this is about to change.
In the unusual position of having lost more games than he’s won, Taylor is fifth on 13 points and must win both of his and rely on one of the two others above him losing both their matches just to squeeze through.
Unfortunately for Taylor, those two men are current champion Raymond van Barneveld, who has timed his play-off charge perfectly, and the player who beat him to the 2015 World Championship crown, Gary Anderson.
The chances of catching Barney in third are slim, as the resurgent Dutchman beat all-comers in April, including the top two over his six matches.
Anderson faces sixth-placed Adrian Lewis in the last round, whose own hopes are pancake thin, and will probably be extinguished by MVG in Newcastle at any rate.
The Flying Scotsman may have come off worst in their UK qualifiers tussle back in February, but taking in that Alexandra Palace win and a 7-5 Premier League victory in week one, Anderson had seen off Taylor in three prior meetings.
He’s therefore a fine bet at 6/4 to end Taylor’s involvement in this competition, which of course be to his own advantage.
In such sizzling form, expect Barney to prevail at 10/3 on Tyneside as well.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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