As the Premier League Darts fraternity head to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, attention on week nine turns to the bottom end of the table with three men bidding to avoid the two elimination spots on judgement night.
Robert Thornton , Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith are the men in question, and of the three it’s Thornton who holds a slender edge with four points to the latter duo’s three.
The Scot played a blinder last week when taking to the oche twice in Liverpool, beating Smith 7-5 before impressively holding Michael van Gerwen to a draw.
But with Smith and Chisnall up before Thornton in the Welsh capital, the 48-year-old could be through before he evens throws an arrow in anger.
Bully Boy Smith faces the tricky task of beating Phil Taylor and match odds of 11/2 suggest he’s up against it.
The Power has thrown over a 100-average since an opening week hammering by Raymond van Barneveld, but the 3/10 favourite has fallen foul to his 25-year-old opponent in the past.
With two wins in the last five meetings, Smith knows he can beat the 16-time world champion, and he knows that if he doesn’t, he’s going home.
Chisnall is the next elimination contender up, versus Peter Wright, and with the lowest checkout average in the tournament, it’s clear where Chizzy’s been coming unstuck.
Snakebite hasn’t won any of his last five matches however, and with Chisnall leading the head-to-head 9-5, he could be on for a late escape bid with victory at 2/1.
Chizzy’s much more favourable leg difference of -12 compared to Smith’s -24 and Thornton’s -20 could also come in handy should we find some players on level points.
Depending on those results however, Thornton could already be through, if he isn’t though, he’ll need to overcome odds of 10/3 and beat Adrian Lewis.
Jackpot has been consistently inconsistent of late, winning two and losing two of his last four, but when it comes to the head-to-head, it reads an ominous 18-4 in Lewis’ favour.
The two-time world champ is 8/11 for a victory which could spell the end of Thornton’s campaign.
Elsewhere James Wade and Gary Anderson open proceedings with what could be a mightily good encounter, before a potentially thrilling Dutch derby rounds out the night.
Van Barneveld loves a fight with Van Gerwen, and their World Championship clash in December was one for the ages.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.