PDC Premier League – Week Two Preview

On Thursday the PDC Premier League moves on to Newcastle for Week Two of the 2016 campaign.

The headline match of the night has to be Gary Anderson vs Michael van Gerwen (the World Champion and Premier League Champion vs the World Number One and tournament favourite).

Overall there are some very even matches on paper and hopefully they will live up to expectation.

**Update: Thornton has pulled out of this evening with an illness so James Wade will play twice and will be Michael Smith’s opponent in the opening match**

Here is the league table complete with stats for each player.

PL Table Week 2

Now onto my match previews.

James Wade vs Michael Smith

Wade

  • James Wade had a fantastic result on the opening night when he came from 3-0 behind to defeat World Number One Michael van Gerwen 7-4. Wade had a checkout percentage of over 53% and impressively saw out the final two legs of the match with two 12 darters.
  • Last weekend at the UK Open qualifiers Wade lost in his first game in the opening 2 events, both on a deciding leg. In the 3rd qualifying event on Sunday he did defeat van Barneveld on his way to the Last 16 but his progress was stopped by Mark Webster.
  • His win last week ended a run of 8 Premier League matches without a win, the last time he actually recorded back to back wins in the Premier League was in 2013 when he followed up a 7-4 win against MVG with a win over Anderson, he then went onto win a 3rd match in a row with a victory over Lewis.

Smith

  • Michael Smith started his debut Premier League season with two defeats on the opening night in Leeds last week. Playing twice due to Anderson missing through illness, he was beaten 7-2 by Peter Wright in the first match and then lost 7-1 to Adrian Lewis in the final match of the night.
  • Smith reached the quarter-finals in 2 of the 3 UK Open qualifiers over the weekend, notably he defeated Adrian Lewis at the Last 16 stage of the 3rd
  • Last week his match averages in the Premier League were 86.15 and 80.97.

Head to Head

James Wade hold a 3-2 advantage in head to head wins against Michael Smith, though Smith has won each of their last two meets (the most recent being in March 2015). This will be their first meeting on the TV stage.

Verdict

Neither player was expecting this match to be taking place this evening, as Smith was due to face Thornton and Wade was just due to play once (vs Taylor in the last match of the evening). With Thornton pulling out through illness on Thursday morning Wade is now facing Smith to open the evening’s proceedings and will round the night off with his scheduled match against Taylor. The fact Wade was preparing to play the last match only and then to have to change his plans and build up for an earlier start does mean the fixture switch is more of a negative for him than Smith, but if it is enough of a factor to affect his performance remains to be seen. The fact remains that this is a big match for Smith who needs to get points on the board as soon as possible. Smith himself was feeling unwell earlier in the week and I would be wary of how this may have affected his preparations.

I don’t have a strong preference on who will win the match, if pushed I would just edge towards a narrow win for Wade. In terms of a bet Wade having a checkout of over 98.5 in the match would be my pick.

 

Raymond van Barneveld vs Peter Wright

 van Barneveld

  • Barney was arguably the most impressive performer in Week One, averaging over 103 and hitting 7 out of 9 double attempts in his comprehensive 7-2 win over Phil Taylor.
  • Last week’s win took his unbeaten run in the Premier League (excluding play-offs) to 9 matches and he has won 7 of those games, including wins against van Gerwen, Anderson, Taylor and Lewis.
  • He reached the quarter-final of the opening UK Open qualifier last Friday before losing on a deciding leg to Peter Wright, in the following two days he lost at the Last 32 stage (to Kim Huybrechts and James Wade).

Wright

  • Wright produced a good performance to beat Michael Smith in Week One in a match where he averaged just under a 100. The double stats of Wright were distorted slightly by 1 leg in which he took 7 darts to hit a double (it was a winning leg). His 180 scoring was impressive with a total of 5, including hitting a 180 for 4 legs in a row.
  • His win last week was only his 2nd Premier League win in 13 matches; on the flip side he has now only lost 2 of his last 8 Premier League matches.
  • Last weekend he reached the semi-finals of the 1st UK Open qualifier, beating van Barneveld in the quarter-finals before losing to eventual winner Adrian Lewis. In the 2nd and 3rd UK Open qualifiers he suffered early exits to Lee Evans and Devon Peterson.

Head to Head

From their 12 previous meetings van Barneveld has won 7, Wright has won 3, with them sharing 2 draws also. Wright has won their last 2 encounters, including a win last Friday in the 1st UK Open qualifier. Their last meeting on TV saw Wright win comfortably 9-1 in the Last 32 of the 2015 UK Open.

Verdict

Both players got off to the ideal start last week with comfortable 7-2 wins. Raymond van Barneveld in particular was very good in his win over Taylor especially on his finishing. It has the makings of a high quality encounter with not much separating them. I think it could go the full 12 legs and a draw the likely result. Recent research which I posted on Twitter showed Wright as the most prolific 180 hitter of the Premier League players at the moment and bet on his 180’s in this match may be worth looking in to.

My preferences on this match are: Over 11.5 legs. Wright most 180’s and Wright over 3.5 180’s

 

Adrian Lewis vs Dave Chisnall

Lewis

  • Lewis had a convincing win over Michael Smith in Week One. The performance of Lewis early on was patchy but as the match progressed his level lifted and he finished the game off winning the last 2 leg in 11 and 12 darts, ending the match with an average of just over a 100 and over 53% success on his double attempts.
  • After winning his opening league match in the 2015 Premier League he then went on a run of 8 matches without a win.
  • Lewis had a successful weekend at the UK Open qualifiers, winning the 1st event on Friday (beating Wright in the semis and Taylor in the final). He defeated Taylor again on the Saturday before losing to MVG in the quarter-finals and on the Sunday he lost to Michael Smith in the Last 16.

Chisnall

  • Chisnall didn’t drop a leg in his win over Thornton on the opening night. It has to be said that Thornton didn’t play well but take nothing away from Chisnall who averaged 101 and hit over 63% of his double attempts.
  • He has now averaged over 100 in each of his last 8 Premier League matches (excluding play-offs).
  • Chisnall reached the Last 16 stage in each of the 3 UK Open qualifiers last weekend, losing to Rowby-John Rodriguez, Simon Whitlock and Benito van de Pas. He did have a win over Michael van Gerwen though (in Qualifier 1).

Head to Head

Chisnall has a narrow 10-9 winning advantage in their previous encounters. They haven’t met since they played in the Premier League last year when Chisnall won 7-4. Overall in their 4 previous Premier League meetings Chisnall has won 3 with the other match being a 6-6 draw.

Verdict

Neither player was troubled during their opening night wins but they won’t have things so comfortable this week in what promises to be a very entertaining match.  I believe this is another game which could go the full 12 legs and has the potential for a draw.

My preferences are: Chisnall Draw No Bet. Over 11.5 legs and Over 7.5 match 180’s

 

Gary Anderson vs Michael van Gerwen

Anderson

  • Last week Anderson was suffering from an illness which caused him to miss Week One so this will be his first appearance in the 2016 Premier League.
  • Having not featured in the 3 UK Open qualifiers this will be Anderson’s first match since he lost to van der Voort in the 1st round of the Masters.
  • Anderson has won his last 4 Premier League matches (including play-offs), those wins coming against Taylor, Lewis, Chisnall and van Gerwen.

van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen suffered a 7-4 opening night defeat against James Wade in Week One, with MVG having led the match 3-0. A big factor in the defeat was a lowly 23.5% checkout success for van Gerwen.
  • Last weekend in the UK Open qualifiers, he suffered a Last 32 defeat to Chisnall in qualifier 1, before winning qualifier 2 and reaching the final in qualifier 3 (losing to Phil Taylor in that final).
  • The defeat on the opening night means that van Gerwen has now failed to win in his last 3 Premier League matches and has only won 2 of his last 7 matches (excluding play-offs).

Head to Head

In head to head career wins Michael van Gerwen leads Anderson 18-11. They last met in the final of the European Championships last November when van Gerwen won a last leg decider to win the title. Anderson had won 3 in a row against MVG prior to that match and he notably defeated MVG in the final of last year’s Premier League.

Verdict

The top two in the PDC Rankings face off in what is not just a battle for league points; there is plenty of pride at stake also. It is unclear how sharp Anderson will be after illness prevented him participating last week and as mentioned he wasn’t in action at the UK Open qualifiers. MVG will be determined to bounce back from his defeat last week and I would expect him to be fully fired up to put that right. I would urge caution if betting on this match mainly due to not knowing how close Anderson will be to his best. I think MVG will edge this 7-5 but it’s not a strong enough fancy for me to bet on the match.

 

James Wade vs Phil Taylor

 Wade

  • James Wade had a fantastic result on the opening night when he came from 3-0 behind to defeat World Number One Michael van Gerwen 7-4. Wade had a checkout percentage of over 53% and impressively saw out the final two legs of the match with two 12 darters.
  • Last weekend at the UK Open qualifiers Wade lost in his first game in the opening 2 events, both on a deciding leg. In the 3rd qualifying event on Sunday he did defeat van Barneveld on his way to the Last 16 but his progress was stopped by Mark Webster.
  • His win last week ended a run of 8 Premier League matches without a win, the last time he actually recorded back to back wins in the Premier League was in 2013 when he followed up a 7-4 win against MVG with a win over Anderson, he then went onto win a 3rd match in a row with a victory over Lewis.

Taylor

  • Taylor was well beaten by Raymond van Barneveld in Week One. He won the first leg but then saw RVB reel off 5 legs in a row without missing a dart at a double, Taylor went on to lose 7-2 with an average of 92.34.
  • He showed some good form at the UK Open qualifiers last week, finishing runner-up in the 1st event and defeating MVG to win the 3rd Both of his defeats over the weekend came against Adrian Lewis.
  • Taylor has now only won 1 of his last 6 Premier League matches, going back a little further his record reads just 3 wins from his last 12 Premier League matches.

Head to Head

Taylor has a big lead over Wade in their head to head win record, having won 46 matches and lost 10. Recently though Wade has had some success, winning 2 of their last 3 encounters (including a win in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Matchplay). Over their last 8 meetings they have 4 wins each. In the 2015 Premier League Taylor came out on top both times they played each other.

Verdict

There were contrasting fortunes for Wade and Taylor last week with Wade overturning the odds to defeat van Gerwen and Taylor suffering a comprehensive defeat against van Barneveld. As mentioned in the head to head section although Taylor does have an excellent overall win record against Wade, recent meetings have been more even so the big lead Taylor does have shouldn’t be a significant factor. The tournament win for Taylor at the weekend was very timely and will certainly have given him a lift coming into this match; I don’t think Wade’s performance in the UK Open qualifiers will have a negative effect on his game. I think Taylor will turn up focused and on form and may just have enough to overturn Wade 7-4 or 7-5. Wade having to play earlier in the evening may be a factor in his performance here so if placing a bet I would recommend waiting to see how he plays against Smith.

My initial preferences for this match are: Wade most 180’s. Wade over 2.5 match 180’s.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: