IT'S semi-finals time in the Premier League on Thursday with two mouthwatering clashes as Michael van Gerwen takes on James Wade and Phil Taylor meets Raymond van Barneveld in London.
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Taylor is trading as a strong favourite here which is unsurprising given Barney hasn't beaten him on the big stage since 2008. But I fancy the Dutchman to end that run. Why? Well, let me tell you.
For starters, Phil isn't as good as he was. He's still the main man, the one who the others see as their biggest threat, but gets beaten a lot more often these days and the players don't fear him like they used to.
Raymond's record against Phil in the Premier League is shocking but Barney is playing, in my opinion, the best darts of his career right now.
The big man is focused and he's confident, all the things he hasn't been in the last five years that's why I think he'll beat the Power at a good price. It's also worth backing Barney to hit most 180s as Phil will switch far more often.
And while that big-games stat is not in his favour here's one that will provide comfort for Barney backers – the Dutchman has beaten Taylor more than any other player.
Van Barneveld to win at 2.62
Van Barneveld to hit the most 180s at 1.53
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Let's not beat around the bush here, if Michael plays well he wins. Wade knows how to win scrappy matches but I can't see this being a scrappy affair.
MVG will score well, that's what he does, and this will mean that James will have to hit his doubles to a 50 per cent ratio at least or rely on Michael missing. Wade is capable of winning anything, we know that, but this is the decade of dominance starting for the Green Machine. Top up the match odds bet by backing MVG to hit most 180s.
Michael van Gerwen to win at 1.28
Van Gerwen to hit the most 180s at 1.4