Premier League Darts 2017 Week 12 Preview : Taylor can derail the Flying Scotsman in Belfast
Event Venue: SSE Arena Belfast, 7pm. Live on Sky Sports 1.See Stats
It is getting towards crunch time in the race for the Premier League play-offs and Belfast could witness some significant results this week. Michael van Gerwen looks to have secured a spot in the top four but the other three are up for grabs and could be seriously shaken up on Thursday. There looks to be some great value on offer as we preview this week's Premier League darts action.
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
The first contest of the evening is a tough one to call between two men struggling for consistency at the moment. Adrian Lewis is doing pretty well in the Premier League, sitting in sixth, but only one point off a play-off place. His 111 average in beating Raymond van Barneveld last week was sensational, but then he went to the German Darts Masters over the weekend and lost in the first round to Daryl Gurney. So his form is still a little patchy. Dave Chisnall's hopes of the play-offs are much more distant as he trails Lewis by five points. However, he has been playing nicely enough, just without picking up the results. A draw with Gary Anderson last week and another with Peter Wright the week before were both impressive. Another stalemate could be on the cards this week. They have a near-identical tournament average, the head-to-head is only marginally in Chisnall's favour at 14-12-1 and with Chizzy on a run of draws, another looks good value here.
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor might not be the force he once was but let's be clear - if he is available at 3/1 against anyone except Van Gerwen then he is worth betting on. That is his price this week against Gary Anderson and the Power is unbelievable value at those odds. Anderson looked great last week but has been inconsistent over the Premier League. Both The Flying Scotsman and Taylor have lost three times so there is little between them in terms of form.There is plenty between them in their head-to-head record, though, which Taylor leads 38-15-3. Even recently the Power has been dominant winning six and drawing one of their nine meetings since 2016.He is too good a price to turn down.
James Wade v Peter Wright
These two played on Monday in Germany and Wade won, but a repeat of that result looks very unlikely on Thursday.The Machine triumphed in a low quality contest in the German Darts Masters quarter-finals but he lost his previous eight matches with Snakebite before that. We have to assume the pair will revert to type in Belfast.Wright is very likely to average around the 100 mark and that tends to be too much for Wade to handle. The Machine is adept at picking off players who are off their game, but as long as Wright finds his average level of about a ton then he will be fine.
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
These two have produced some classics in recent years and we can expect another awesome clash this week.This pair also met on Monday and it was MVG who came out on top, but RVB prospered last time they played in the Premier League so it is not quite as cut and dried as the odds suggest (Van Gerwen is just 1/3 to win).What looks guaranteed is plenty of 180s. Barney has hit more than anyone this tournament (49) and Mighty Mike is third in the maximum stakes (39). There should be a lot more maximums for the Belfast crowd to cheer on Thursday.
Dave Chisnall v Phil Taylor
Chisnall has one very famous win over Taylor but his overall record against the Power is dreadful and he is likely to lose again here.Taylor has beaten Chizzy in their last four games and in 23 of their 31 in total. That World Championship defeat came in 2011 and Chisnall's only significant win over Taylor since was in the 2015 Premier League. The Power has won five of six Premier League clashes. If Chizzy was in really hot form then things would be different but with him being a bit up-and-down, Taylor is the value bet here.
- The record group stage tournament average is Phil Taylor's 107.95 in 2012. Michael van Gerwen currently has that in his sights as he averages 105.38.
- James Wade has the lowest tournament average (96.5), high checkout (121) and total 180s (22) of anyone left in the competition.
- Adrian Lewis' 9-Darter last week was the eighth in Premier League history and his second. The others were hit by Van Barneveld (2), Taylor (3) and Simon Whitlock.
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