Tensions rise as the season reaches its climax.
There is a still a lot to play for as we enter the final week of the regular Premier League season. Three men remain in contention for the two remaining play-off final places after a nervous and tense night of darts last Thursday in Newcastle.
Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson are in pole position to take the two play-off places but Peter Wright could still qualify for the big finals night at the O2 a week on Thursday. Keep reading for our preview of this week’s Round 15 action at the Brighton Centre.
Three men chase two play-off places
Phil Taylor had one dart to secure his place in the play-off finals last Thursday but a missed double-16 let in Peter Wright whose double 9 saw him earn a 6-6 draw against the former world champion. The result means both men remain in contention for a play-off place ahead of Thursday’s action.
“I was gutted, I had my chances and I missed a lot of doubles there. But I’m happy to still be in there,” Taylor said after the contest. “I’ll be trying to win, a draw might get me through, but it’s going to be a twitchy, twitchy time next week. There’s three of us fighting for two spaces, it’s brilliant really.”
It certainly is a great end to the regular season and The Power will be fancied to qualify as he takes on Robert Thornton. Thornton has lost five of his last seven Premier League matches and went down to the woefully out of form Adrian Lewis in Newcastle last week.
Taylor may only need a draw but we fancy him to book his place at the O2 with a comfortable win at 4/11.
Gary Anderson dragged himself into the top four last week with a 7-4 win over Dave Chisnall and will reach the end of season finale if he can beat Raymond van Barneveld in Thursday’s second match.
Barney took a 3-1 lead over compatriot Michael van Gerwen last week before eventually succumbing to a 7-4 defeat. It was only his second loss in this season’s competition, however, and even though he has qualified for the play-offs Anderson will find it tough to beat him. With six draws already this season the 6-6 tie could be the one to back here at 7/2.
Peter Wright sits fifth in the current Premier League table and it is the only time he has been out of the top four this season. With just four points from the last 12 available it’s been a disappointing run of form and Snakebite really needs a win in Brighton tonight.
He might find it tough, though, as his opponent in the final match at the Brighton Centre is Michael van Gerwen. Van Gerwen has long since qualified for the O2 finals and is the 4/9 favourite to win this match.
It is a great way to end the night and the regular season. A draw may be good enough for Snakebite – depending on other results – but we fancy van Gerwen to repeat his win in the world final and take this tie at 4/9.
League’s strugglers meet in opening match
The opening match of the night features two men with only pride to play for. Between them Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall have lost nine of their last twelve Premier League matches, although Lewis ended an eight week streak without a win when he beat Robert Thornton last week.
With nothing to play for this is a tough match to call. With a win finally behind him we perhaps just prefer Lewis to shade this at 8/11, although it could go either way.
Chisnall v Lewis is the first match up at the Brighton Centre on tonight.