WHEN the Premier League was extended to 10 players no one was sure if the elimination idea would work. In fact, Barry Hearn said if it works it was his idea and if it didn't I'd have to take the blame!

Well, it has worked. Four players – Adrian Lewis, Simon Whitlock, Gary Anderson and Wes Newton – could be sent home on Thursday night and that's what everybody's talking about.

It's been so close from top to bottom and there's no doubt these are the 10 best players in the world but nobody wants to say they've been relegated. That's what they're scrapping to avoid on Thursday.

Several top players didn't participate in the European Masters in Germany last weekend, which is a shame as we want to promote the game abroad.

However, Newton won the tournament and played extremely well in doing so – and now I really hope he builds on that momentum and survives elimination.

By winning the tournament he will take great confidence into the Premier League's Judgement Night and it should be a great event in Brighton.

Here's how I see things unfolding:

Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld

There's big pressure on Adrian Lewis going on first and he has to set the standard for the night. He doesn't need to win his game to survive, he just needs enough legs to stay ahead of the others, but he mustn't go up there thinking like that.

He has to go up there trying to win the game. Remember he doesn't just want to stay clear of relegation – he wants to finish in the top four and book his place at the O2 Arena. He's got away with a few results by doing the right things at the right time – which is what you'd expect of a double world champion – but this won't be an easy game for him.

Barney is playing extremely well and if he goes 3-0 up then Lewis may start to panic – because a 7-2 defeat could see him end up relegated. The early part of the game is vital here and Lewis mustn't make any mistakes. There's no pressure on Barney, though, who is joint top of the league and if he's relaxed then he could be dangerous.

ROD'S CALL: Barney to win (11-10, William Hill, Paddy Power) but Lewis to get enough legs to survive

Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton

This game doesn't have a bearing on the bottom two but it will have an effect on the top of the table. It would mean a lot for Phil Taylor to be leading after nine events

He went back to his old darts in his game against Van Barneveld last week and is a lot happier and played a lot better with them. Robert Thornton is playing absolutely brilliantly at the moment and we know he is going to put up a massive fight but I think Taylor's back on form and I expect him to edge this one.

ROD'S CALL: Taylor wins (1-2, various)strong>

Wes Newton v Andy Hamilton

Wes Newton played extremely well during a gruelling three days out in Germany and put himself on the line a little bit by going out there. He could have ducked out like some of the other players did, saying he needed to rest, but instead he went there and won.

That means he's going to arrive in Brighton more confident than the others. However, Andy Hamilton is a fighter and even though he's not in the relegation zone he will be looking to win. After the week he's had – beating Anderson in Glasgow and then winning in Germany – I'd like to see Wes go on and win it. This might be the first time I've tipped him to win all year but I think he'll be full of beans and will get the job done.

ROD'S CALL: Newton wins (7-4, various)

Gary Anderson v James Wade

Gary Anderson has been on a bit of a downer lately. Like a few of the top players he missed the tournament at the weekend and while it might have been hard work I think he should have gone. Remember, Barney wasn't going to play in the Grand Slam last year but turned up at the last minute and won it – and he's had his form back ever since.

I've got to go with James Wade here, who was as good as I've seen him for two years in Glasgow last week. He wasn't feeling too well but played as solid as anything and looked focused. On form I can only see a Wade win – but if Anderson turns up he's always capable of beating anybody.

ROD'S CALL: Wade wins (10-11, William Hill) and Anderson is relegated

Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock

I expect Simon Whitlock to need a win from this last match to survive but he's playing a player at the top of his form. Michael van Gerwen lost in the semi-final in Germany but Paul Nicholson had to play extremely well to beat him.

I predicted Whitlock would finish in the top four at the start of the league but a couple of odd results have gone against him and he's missed a few doubles that you wouldn't expect him to. That's why he's in the position he's in. Van Gerwen will go up there and pound the dartboard and Whitlock will need some ton-plus shot-outs and some 12-dart legs to give himself a chance – and if he gets into him then he's got a massive chance.

This match is a bad draw for him and I'm leaning towards the Dutchman – which would see Whitlock going out of the competition.

ROD'S CALL: Van Gerwen wins (8-11, Coral) and Whitlock is relegated

Rodney Trotter

  1. Craig alves 11 years ago

    How does this relegation work, can they not qualify for next season or is there gonna be a second league with players who didnt make it this year and need to gain promotion?? hopefully ando gets the win against wade

  2. Bryan 11 years ago

    It doesn’t effect next season. The bottom two are relegated and the other 8 will go on to play each other one more time.

  3. Craig alves 11 years ago

    cheers bryan, knew that it would go down to 8 but wasn’t sure if relegated players could play next season. should be a good night tomorrow

  4. Seamus 11 years ago

    Fancy wade, mvg, Lewis to beat barney, yes Lewis, and the hammer. Will bet singles throughout the night.

    Lewis my tip, been superb! And fir wade that’s sell your house, guaranteed!

    Can’t wait fir the darts

  5. Alva 11 years ago

    Think single betting the way to go tonight.Doing Wade in 1st match Anderson looks a man doomed.

  6. the chief 11 years ago

    Its Judgement night in Brighton tonight, and Im hoping to pick up a few decent winners like last week, here are my thoughts on the games.

    Lewis vs Barneveld

    RVB has hit a bit of a blip recently after a good start he hasnt won in his last 3 games. Adrian Lewis lost his first four matches in this tournament but he is now unbeaten in four with three wins and a draw in that time, with both players playing at a good pace, it should be a good match, with the pressure all on Aidy, im expecting RVB to bounce back with a win tonight.


    Taylor vs Thornton

    Thornton has taken draws from RVB and MVG this season so he fears nobody and he hammered Simon Whitlock last week. Phil Taylor hasn’t been his usual self in this Premier League but I think he will win this but it wont be easy and I can see at least 11 legs.

    BET OVER 10.5 legs

    Newton vs Hamilton

    Wes Newton goes into Judgement Night knowing that he has to avoid defeat to have any chance of avoiding relegation and even then his fate is out of his hands, Newton as struggled in the league and as had a shoulder injury, However his confidence will be boosted having won in Germany. Hamilton is a solid enough player and scores well and his pretty reliable on his doubles. With the pressure off im siding with the hammer.


    Anderson vs Wade

    Wade was superb in beating MVG last week (as i tipped) and has been scoring heavilly and been superb on his doubles. He will need to score heavy again if he is to win. Anderson was a big let down infront of his own fans and needs to win and hope results go his way. Ando has a great record against Wadey winning 7 of the last 8 matches. Anderson misses far too many doubles and his under huge pressure, Im taking Wadey to end his dissmal record against Gary and relegate him.


    Van Gerwen vs Whitlock

    Whitlock will go into this match knowing exactly what he needs to do. MVG ran into a machine last week and although he lost he did play well. Whitlock was hammered by Thornton last week and having had a look at recent results between the two it doesnt make for good reading for Whitlock fans. I think MVG will put a show tonight and win.


    Good luck if your having a bet

  7. the chief 11 years ago




    BET RVB TO HIT MORE 180s Than Lewis

    Good luck if your having a bet

  8. Alva 11 years ago

    All the underdogs can win tonight giving a 5 fold 700/1 at sporting bet Lewis ,Thornton, Ando,Wizard & Newton .Gonna single them as well odds are too big to avoid.

  9. Seamus 11 years ago

    Singles throughout night for me, first single Lewis win

  10. Seamus 11 years ago


  11. gunner 11 years ago

    taylor is getting smashed by the thornton but i dunno how u can back taylor at them odds :) :) :)

  12. the chief 11 years ago

    Well that is first two games with winning tips I’m gonna record rest as I’m watching darts, let’s hope my winners continue.

    Good luck with your bets

  13. the chief 11 years ago

    Watching football sorry, Thornton been playing well all season, has the highest average in the league so far

  14. Seamus 11 years ago

    Thornton was absolutely smashing that. Superb darts.

  15. Stephen 11 years ago

    I stuck £100 on the hammer & wade dbl, seat belt is fastened & ready 4 a rough ride

  16. gunner 11 years ago

    the chief you said taylor mmvg to win :)

  17. the chief 11 years ago

    Gunner, that was my DOUBLE TOPS, I try and give a double that pays decent odds. My bets on all 5 matches came up, hope you was on :) here is what i advised to bet, you can read my thoughts on the games above

    GAME 1. BET RVB TO WIN ***** WINNER*****

    GAME 2. BET OVER 10.5 legs ***** WINNER*****


    GAME 4. BET WADE TO WIN ***** WINNER*****

    GAME 5. BET MVG TO WIN ***** WINNER *****

    Thats a full house :)


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