Premier League Darts: Crunch time looms for Thornton

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In a little over a week from now, the 10 men in the darts Premier League will become eight, and that means it’s time to produce the goods for those at the wrong end of the table.

Robert Thornton is the man propping up the league with just one point as the tournament rolls in to Liverpool’s Echo Arena, but the Scot has two matches in Merseyside with which to gain some much-needed points.

The first of which is a crucial tie against Michael Smith, with the Englishman occupying the second elimination spot in ninth on three points.

There’s been little to split them down the years, with each man taking four wins apiece in eight meetings.

With Thornton also set to play Michael van Gerwen in Liverpool, and Smith ending against Phil Taylor next week, both men will be firmly aware that this clash is a must-win.

After a 7-0 pasting by the Power a fortnight ago too, the Thorn will be desperate to step it up a notch, and is 7/4 for the win.

Smith is evens, while a draw – a pretty useless result for both men – is 7/2.

Dave Chisnall is also on the bubble with three points, but Chizzy is 11/4 to beat Gary Anderson, with the Flying Scot winning his last five matches.

Anderson is 8/13 to make it six on the spin, before Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld take to the oche.

Jackpot has lost two his last three, while the same applies for three of Barney’s last four, but in the head-to-head record it’s Lewis who has dominated this tie.

The Stoke man is evens to beat the Dutchman for a fifth-successive time, with Barney 7/4 and the draw 7/2.

Taylor has been in epic form over the last few weeks, and produced a classic to draw with Van Gerwen last time out.

Snakebite Peter Wright is 5/2 to stop the Power, who is 8/11 to claim a sixth-win of the tournament.

The finale sees Thornton return to the stage, and the Scot could be out of contention before his clash with Mighty Mike.

The Dutchman may have been rattled by Taylor a week ago, but having incredibly averaged well over a 100 for the last six weeks he’s 1/8 for victory, with Thornton very much the outsider at 12s to beat a man he’s lost to in eight of the last nine meetings.

All odds and markets correct as of date of publishing

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