Judgement Night for the also-rans in Manchester Arena
It’s Judgment Night in Manchester this week as the bottom two are eliminated from the league ahead of the remaining seven weeks of action.
Debutant Kim Huybrechts defeat in Dublin last week means the Belgian is already out and so it looks like a straight survival fight between Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis when the pair meet at the Phones 4U Arena this week.
Keep reading for our preview of this week’s Premier League darts!
Taylor desperately needs a win after dropping out of top four
Despite his win over the relegated Huybrechts last week, Phil Taylor still slipped out of the top four on leg difference and really needs to chalk up some wins in the remaining weeks. The Power’s 7-4 victory in Dublin was his first win in three although his form has been good.
Taylor averaged 115.8 in defeat to old rival Raymond van Barneveld a couple of weeks ago although admitted he would have to improve between now and the end of the tournament.
Taylor told Sky Sports:
“I’ve got to get better. I love playing the top players and I’ve got (Dave) Chisnall next week in Manchester and I want to win.”
We tipped Dave Chisnall to overcome former world champion Adrian Lewis last week at tasty odds of 9/5 and he duly obliged with a comfortable 7-2 victory.
Chizzy sits a comfortable third in the table and this could be the match of the night. Taylor is just 1/2 to win while the underrated Chisnall is available at a standout price of 7/2.
Judgment Night sees Wright and Lewis fight for Premier League survival
With the bottom two leaving the tournament after Thursday’s action, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis meet in the penultimate match in Manchester with the loser likely to exit the competition.
Lewis hasn’t won since the opening week of the Premier League and defeat would almost certainly be the end of the road in this season’s tournament. Peter Wright, so impressive last year, has also struggled and averaged just 887.8 in defeat last week.
This could be a close match but we fancy Snakebite to overcome the inconsistent Lewis at 6/4.
Mighty Mike set to continue his impressive run
Dutch Wizard Michael van Gerwen is yet to lose in this season’s Premier League and continued his impressive run in front of 11,000 people in Dublin last week with a 7-2 favourite over countryman Raymond van Barneveld.
Mighty Mike was on sensational form, narrowly missing a sensational nine-dart finish in the second leg of his match when he hit eight perfect darts before narrowly missing double 12 by the width of a wire.
He recorded a 108.71 three dart average and ended the match with a terrific 160 finish and the former world champion has now won 57 of his 63 matches in all competitions so far in 2015.
“For the ninth time this year I’ve missed a nine-darter, but I played in another fantastic game and that’s the most important thing,” said the world No 1.
“I wasn’t playing that well but when you hear the crowd’s noise it makes you feel good.”
van Gerwen is 8/15 to beat James Wade in Thursday’s opening match.
Gary Anderson made it three wins in a row after coming from behind to beat debutant Stephen Bunting at the 3Arena. The Flying Scotsman was 4-2 down but won the last five legs thanks to impressive 125 and 134 checkouts and remains in second position in the table.
“This is one of the best stadiums in the world for darts,” said Anderson.
“I made a right mess of the doubles at times and Stephen should have won that. I’m doing alright. If I finish in the top four, I’ll be happy with that.”
Anderson faces Raymond van Barneveld in Thursday’s final match and can record another win at 4/7.
Stephen Bunting can still make the top four with a good run and he needs to start by beating the eliminated Kim Huybrechts this week. The Belgian has nothing to play for after losing last week but we fancy Bunting to win at 13/10.
The ninth week of the Premier League kicks off at 7.15pm on Thursday 2 April. Find all the darts odds over at our main site now.