It was a record breaking night for the Premier League last Thursday. A record 11,000 spectators filled the First Direct Arena in Leeds for week seven of the competition, beating the previous highest attendance of 10,000 which was set at the 2012 Premier League Play-Offs at London’s O2 Arena.
The crowd were treated to a brilliant night of darts with Phil Taylor finally looking like his old self and the remaining four matches going all the way to the final leg. Nine players head to BetBright’s hometown of Dublin this week (Wes Newton plays twice after missing week five through illness) and we look ahead to tomorrow night’s action.
The Power finally hits some form
After a rocky start to his Premier League campaign, Phil Taylor finally got into his stride last Thursday and his 7-1 win took him out of the relegation places for the first time this season. The Power averaged 106.91 in his win over Wes Newton, taking the final five legs to secure a comfortable victory.
After his win Taylor said: “It’s coming back and I’ll hopefully get better each week. I’ve been chopping and changing my darts and my sponsors have backed me with all the little changes I’ve made. “Getting the two points was the most important thing tonight and I don’t want to get knocked out in the relegation in a couple of weeks – I want to move on up the table now and try and get this title back.”
Taylor plays the final match in Dublin and faces his old rival Raymond van Barneveld. Barney has been in good form this season and held Premier League leader Peter Wright to a 6-6 draw in Leeds last week. It promises to be a close match but we fancy The Power to nick it at 4/7.
The curse of the draw strikes again
As we’ve been saying for a few weeks now, when betting on the Premier League you ignore the draw at your peril. There were three more tied games in Leeds last Thursday meaning that nine of the 35 matches this season – 26 per cent – have finished all square.
Dave Chisnall has drawn three of his seven matches so far this season and plays Adrian Lewis in Dublin. Jackpot has blown hot and cold this year so far with just one win in the last five weeks after a strong start. We fancy this could be a tight affair and the draw is available at 4/1.
Last year’s champion tops the table
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen moved to the top of the table in Leeds with a 7-5 win over Gary Anderson. The Dutchman secured his fifth win of the campaign to leapfrog Peter Wright into top spot on leg difference. Van Gerwen said: “I’m very pleased with this win and I did the right things at the right time at the end of the game. We’ve had some great games and I showed tonight that I was the best, and now I’m top of the league and very happy with that.”
In a repeat of the 2014 World final, van Gerwen faces the unbeaten Peter Wright in the pick of Thursday’s matches. There’s precious little to choose between the pair in the Premier League so far but we think Snakebite’s unbeaten run my be under threat here. The Dutch world champion is 8/15 to win.
The opening match of the night sees Wes Newton in action in the first of his two matches. Newton missed week five through illness and faces Gary Anderson first with both players having lost their previous two matches. We fancy a draw here at 17/4.
Newton then faces Simon Whitlock who is stuck at the foot of the table with just one win this campaign. It’s something of a relegation two-pointer but Newton has averaged over 100 in the last three weeks and we fancy him to win at 13/10.
Newton v Anderson is the first match up at the 02, Dublin on Thursday, March 27th. Let’s hope it’s another great night of darts from the O2!