AFTER Phil Taylor’s defeat last week; the first since the opening night, Michael van Gerwen is again the leading favourite to win the Premier League. MVG has eased in to around 7/10 with some firms to win the event.

With two rounds of competition left, this week in Manchester could see third and fourth spots sealed as Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis look to make it impossible to be caught with victories. Gary faces Thornton, whereas Lewis faces Taylor. A draw for Wright and Wade, who play one another, will eliminate the pair, and defeat for either player will also.

Order of play:

Wade Vs Wright

Wade leads 14-6

Have bookies taken the head to head into account here as the last six, the pair has won three apiece. Wright beat Wade all the way back at week three, with the latest meeting on Saturday, where Wade beat Snakebite in the quarter final of the pro-tour, which Wade went on to lose in the final. Wright won the Sunday event as number one seed, as MVG, Anderson, Taylor and Lewis did not compete at the weekend event.

We have made it clear in weeks gone by that Wright continues to tweak his darts but appeared happy with them at last weeks victory over Taylor, which kept him in with a slim chance of qualifying still for the play offs.

Wade himself is still in the hunt having gone by relatively unnoticed to be hot on the heels of Lewis for fourth place and will need to rely on Taylor and Anderson to beat Lewis to aid his chances of progression.

Wright is BIG at 17/10 to win the first leg with Betfair, although Wade, whose clinical checkouts has saved him on occasions can be backed for 100 or more 5/6 with Paddy Power. Wright is skinny for most 180s at just 8/13 in places, whereas 8/13 also gets you Wright highest average, which Wade in three of his last four has bettered Wrights average, so punters may be interested in the 6/5 with Paddy Power.

Anderson Vs Thornton

Anderson leads 14-11 with 1 draw

Anderson will look to seal his place at the playoffs before jetting off to Gibraltar on Friday to compete for the European Tour event.

The defending champion is red hot favourite at 4/11 with Betbright and Betfair sportsbook, with Thornton a massive 6/1 with the draw at the same price. The Premier League has not been a good season for Thornton, whose heroics at week eight was enough to see him through. Since has not mustered up much with just one victory in the second phase.

Thornton is given a generous handicap although the Thorn will need to win four legs to see the handicap through. I do like the look of Anderson winning leg two in the game, despite being against the throw, Thornton’s throw has been less than effective recently, and Anderson will be looking to seal an early lead, if he can break throw early and look towards taking out the handicap line of -3.5 with the confidence that if Anderson goes 2-0 up, he is on throw for 3-0 and it will make the handicap look in a great position.

MVG Vs Barneveld

MVG leads 23-16 with 1 draw

Can mighty Mike win third time lucky after having drawn the last meeting with Barney at the end of March with the previous meeting MVG losing to Barneveld at the World Championships.

MVG did win the three previous meetings which proceeded last years world series events, which the world number one lost in two successive meetings in Sydney and Auckland. With Barney eliminated will he be taking the game as seriously as he might still being in the competition?

It is highly likely Barney will finish seventh now, unless Wright or Wade lost their last two and Barney won both, so in our view almost a dead rubber game for the former five-time World Champion. For MVG to win this, will take it to a showdown with Taylor next week but a draw for MVG will mean defeating Taylor next week is essential.

Like another game I have selected, I do with the MVG’s power scoring; he loves to fly out the blocks and evens with Boylesports to win against the throw at the first opportunity.

Lewis Vs Taylor

Taylor leads 51-15 with 2 draws

Phil made light work of Lewis in their previous Premier League encounter conceding just a single leg and the 2016 record is two apiece in the head to head.

Lewis had better fortune in the latter part of 2015, but Phil has his darts sorted now, but not truly convinced in his play at the moment, but there again Lewis is not a player you can totally depend on in certain markets.

Taylor will look to be at ruthless as possible having given up top spot in the league last week, and the potential showdown next week in Rotterdam for the first Dutch event for the Premier League. Lewis equally has work to do to make the play off, so rightfully gets the main event billing of the night.

Phil last week went on our side by hitting the first maximum at our target price and is as big as 23/20 to hit the opening maximum again like he did on their last encounter. This is worth considering, although the bet I really like on this game is similar to their first meeting taking a low count on the maximums, and believe that Lewis is less than on fire in this department, as is Phil, as Taylor will switch if the dart is not positioned low on the bed.

I do think the count at fewer than seven is set high, and believe the line should be weighed more on the 5.5 mark, as neither player is really firing these in. I would have priced accordingly on the basis of a 4/7 – 8/13 for over 5.5 to lure the punters in but do think the line is on the unknown factors of whether speculative magic may occur during the meeting.



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