After a topsy-turvy couple of weeks in the 2014 Premier League darts season, the tournament heads to Belfast this Thursday for the third round of matches.
There’s a strange look to the early table with Simon Whitlock and Phil Taylor currently occupying the bottom two berths. After his 7-0 thrashing in the opening week, The Power lost again in Bournemouth and has plenty of work to do.
At the business end of the table, defending champion Michal van Gerwen leads the way. Here’s our preview of an intriguing night of darts at the Odyssey Arena.
Van Gerwen leading the way
After his whitewash of Phil Taylor in week one, we tipped Michael van Gerwen to make short work of Robert Thornton in Bournemouth and the Dutchman duly obliged. While he never hit the heights of his opening week triumph, he did enough to win 7-5 and tops the table heading into week three.
The 24-year-old won a cool £20,000 over the weekend with his triumph in the Dutch Masters and heads to Belfast in great form. His opponent this Thursday is Dave Chisnall who came from 5-1 down to grab a creditable 6-6 draw with Peter Wright last time out. Chisnall is a tough opponent but we expect the world champion to win at 11/25.
If you’d followed our advice last week and backed Adrian Lewis at 61/50 to beat Phil Taylor in the all Potteries affair you’d be sitting on a tidy profit. Lewis ran out a comfortable 7-3 winner over the 16 time world champion and plays Wes Newton in this Thursday’s fourth match.
Newton put in a great performance to beat Raymond van Barneveld last time out but Lewis is in great form and we’ll be backing Jackpot to win this one at 12/25. Phil Taylor has won just three legs in two Premier League darts contests this year and this follows his shock second round defeat at the world championships. Leading pundit Wayne Mardle believes that the Power’s weight loss regime and new darts are to blame for his slump and with the bottom two players being eliminated early a win is long overdue.
Taylor faces a tricky opponent in the unbeaten Peter Wright this Thursday and there’s not a lot of value on Taylor at 69/100. It could well be worth backing Wright here at a tasty 51/20.
Anderson to edge an all Scottish match
The opening match of this Thursday’s event is an all Scottish affair as Gary Anderson takes on Robert Thornton. Thornton has yet to register a point in this year’s event having been defeated by Chisnall in Liverpool and van Gerwen in Bournemouth while Anderson recovered from a heavy defeat to Barney in week one by averaging 98.16 in a 7-2 win over Simon Whitlock last time out.
This could be a close-run contest but we like Anderson to edge it at 49/50.
The final match in Belfast sees bottom of the table Simon Whitlock face Raymond van Barneveld. Barney had a scorching opening week averaging over 108 before coming unstuck against Wes Newton in Bournemouth where his average was just 89.69. The Wizard has fared even worse, however, winning just three legs so far in two heavy defeats.
We believe that playing last could help van Barneveld and so we fancy the Dutchman to pile more pressure on Whitlock by winning at 39/50.
Check out our latest Premier League darts odds to be in with a chance of collecting some winnings on Thursday night’s fun in the Odyssey Arena.