Premier League Darts: Barney staring relegation in the face

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Raymond van Barneveld is already swirling around the Premier League Darts plughole with three games to go before the relegation places are finalised. Now he is about to enter his toughest stretch of the tournament.

Having won just one of his opening six games, two consecutive defeats have plunged the defending champion into the tournament’s bottom two places.

Starting with week seven’s battle against Phil Taylor at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Barney must conjure the fighting spirit that saw him reach the World Championship semi-finals as a 33/1 outsider last Christmas if he’s to prolong his involvement in the Premier League.

Unfortunately for the Dutchman it was Taylor who ended his run at Alexandra Palace. At odds of 2/9 to win their latest battle it certainly seems that the Stoke tungsten master is well placed to pour on the misery again. The below head-to-head graphic only makes a more concrete case for Taylor.

Barney faces Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson as his week eight and nine assignments.

DartsElsewhere in the schedule Gary Anderson makes a competitive return to his homeland for the first time since winning the World Championship.

4/11 to best the other relegation struggler, Kim Huybrechts, is certainly a fair price considering the Scot won a Players Championship event over the weekend.

Adrian Lewis’ poor form – he’s winless since the opening night of the Premier League – is enough to see him demoted to 1/1 outsider against 8/11-fancy James Wade, while Stephen Bunting is 11/10 to avenge the whitewash Peter Wright dished out to him at the UK Open two weeks ago.

Perhaps the bet of the night is there being over 7.5 180s in the curtain-closer at 11/10. Dave Chisnall and Michael van Gerwen are the two leading maximum-hitters in the tournament, claiming 43 between them.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.