PDC Premier League – Week Six Preview
It’s week six of the PDC Premier League and this week the darting action comes from Nottingham.
As usual I have previewed all five matches giving you stats, info and verdicts on each game.
Here is the league table as it stands along with some player stats.
Now onto the previews..
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
- Smith managed to get his first win of the Premier League season last week when he defeated Raymond van Barneveld 7-5. Smith did excellently to win 3 straight legs from 5-4 down; having just been broken he responded with an 11 darter against throw and again broke the Barney throw in the final leg of the match.
- He lost disappointingly in the Last 32 of the UK Open last week. Having come through a tough opening match against Daryl Gurney in a last leg decider he went on to lose 9-5 to Stuart Kellett in the next round.
- His average of 95.77 last week was his highest average in this year’s Premier League.
- Anderson made it back to back Premier League wins with his 7-4 victory over Robert Thornton moving him on to 4 points after 4 matches. He did trail Thornton 3-0 early in the match but managed to turn things around. His average was a lowly 89.88, a big drop from his 103.34 the week before.
- He suffered a shock early exit in the UK Open losing 9-3 in the Last 32 to amateur qualifier Barry Lynn. Anderson had beaten Chisnall in the Last 64 but was very below par in his defeat to Lynn.
- It has been 5 matches since Anderson was involved in a Premier League match that went the full 12 legs, in his 7 matches prior to that run he had actually been involved in 5 last leg matches.
Head to Head
This will be their first ever meeting on the TV stage, prior to this match they have met 5 times with Anderson just having the edge 3 wins to 2, though they haven’t played each other since September 2014.
With Gary Anderson mentoring Michael Smith in his career this match has an extra story surrounding it. I think any friendship goes out of the window though as both need the points and there will be bragging rights at stake. Smith will have felt some pressure lift following his win last week and still have ambitions of avoiding week nine elimination. Anderson didn’t play well last week and had a disappointing exit at the UK Open but he is the type of player who can suddenly turn up and average 108 despite that.
Anderson is the obvious favourite and I agree he is the likely winner but I have no strong prediction on this match.
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
- Wright suffered his first loss of the Premier League season when he went down to a 7-2 defeat against van Gerwen. The score didn’t really reflect how Wright played though as he registered a 108.98 average whilst MVG averaged 116.67.
- He enjoyed a successful weekend at the UK Open despite losing in the final against a dominant van Gerwen. That was his 3rd TV ranking final with all 3 final defeats coming against van Gerwen.
- His average last week of 108.98 was his highest ever Premier League average, he has now averaged over 100 in 2 of the last 3 weeks, prior to that he had failed to average over a 100 in his last 9 Premier League matches.
- Lewis was well beaten last week against Phil Taylor winning only 1 leg, the leg he won was when he was trailing 5-0. In fairness Taylor was in good form and averaged 104 but Lewis was well below the standard he is capable of.
- Last weekend he exited the UK Open at the Last 16 stage, losing 9-7 to Jelle Klaasen. Lewis was poor on his finishing in that match hitting only 21.9% of his attempts.
- In his match last week he failed to score a single 180, something he hadn’t done in a Premier League match since 2013.
Head to Head
They are certainly no strangers to playing one another, having met 22 times previously. Lewis leads their head to head win record 14-7 (they have also drawn once). In total since the start of 2015 Lewis has won 7 of their last 9 matches including each of the last 3. In the Premier League they have played 3 times with one win each and a draw.
Only a point separates these two in the table and they are ranked only a place apart in the PDC rankings also. The fact Lewis has enjoyed much the better of their recent meetings might give him some sort of edge, but I expect this to be a very tight fought match and it could go all the way to a deciding leg.
I’m tipping this match to end in a draw and think a small bet on the draw and also a bet on over 11.5 legs in the match might be worth looking at.
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
- Barney lost his second Premier League match in a row last week when he went down to a 7-5 defeat against Michael Smith. He put himself in a strong position to pick up at least a point when he broke the Smith throw to go 5-4 ahead meaning he had the throw in 2 of the final 3 legs, but Smith was to take out an excellent 11 dart leg to break straight back and won the final two legs.
- At the UK Open last weekend he lost in the Last 32 to Phil Taylor, it wasn’t a bad performance from Barney but Taylor was in excellent form.
- Overall van Barneveld has now lost 7 of his last 9 matches in all competitions.
- His average of 92.19 last week was his lowest Premier League average this season, and was in fact his lowest in 15 Premier League matches.
- Wade produced a very good performance to defeat Dave Chisnall 7-4 last week. A key point in the match was a 161 checkout from Wade to break throw when the score was 2-2. Wade finished the match with an average of 102.25.
- At the UK Open he suffered an early exit, losing in the Last 64 to the very tricky Mensur Suljovic. Wade seemed unhappy with the board which may have affected his performance in the 9-2 defeat.
- He registered 3 checkouts of over 100 last week which took his total of 3 figure checkouts in this year’s Premier League to 8, the most of any player so far.
Head to Head
There isn’t much to separate van Barneveld and Wade in their overall head to head record, Wade just has the edge 22-19 (4 draws). In the Premier League their meetings in the league phase have been evenly split, both have won 5 matches and they have drawn 4 times.
As mentioned above there isn’t a lot between Barney and Wade in their past meetings, both players are former Premier League winners and realistically will be in contention to make the play-offs this year. I don’t think either player will run away with this match, and think the over 11.5 legs is good value. I also like the look of Wade to win with Barney to win at least 4 legs (3/1) and Wade to have a checkout of over 97.5 during the match.
Robert Thornton v Phil Taylor
- Thornton lost his 3rd game from 4 Premier League matches when he went down 7-4 to Gary Anderson last week. The match started well for Thornton as he took the opening 3 legs (including hitting a 136 finish in the 3rd leg). That was as good as it got for him though as he proceeded to lose 6 of the next 7 legs and he finished the match with an average of 85.80.
- At the UK Open last weekend he lost in his first match to Arron Monk 6-4, Thornton entered in the second round due to not being seeded in the top 32 due to his placing in the UK Open qualifying table.
- Thornton has now won only 4 of his last 19 matches in all competitions, this stretches back to last November.
- In the Premier League he has won just 2 of his last 23 matches.
- Taylor is 2nd only on legs difference behind van Gerwen at the top of the table following his 4th win a row last week when he comfortably defeated Adrian Lewis 7-1 averaging 104.
- At the UK Open last weekend he lost out in the semi-finals to eventual champion Michael van Gerwen, Taylor performed well all through the tournament but couldn’t hold off van Gerwen despite having led 4-1 at the first break.
- Taylor’s average of 104 last week was the 8th time in his last 9 Premier League matches that he has averaged over 100.
Head to Head
Taylor leads their overall head to head win record with 19 wins to 6. Thornton has defeated Taylor on the TV stage on 3 occasions, most famously in the 2012 UK Open final but his last win against him was in April 2014 with Taylor winning all 3 matches they have played since then.
Thornton has a real task on his hands to avoid elimination and needs to show a big upturn in form if he is to do so. He has shown some competitiveness in his last 3 matches but hasn’t threatened to break his opponents throw on enough occasions. Taylor has produced some excellent performances in the Premier League which have been overshadowed by the outstanding displays of van Gerwen, he is looking focused and I’m expecting another strong showing here.
I can’t look past a Taylor win here and think that Taylor to win with him also having the most 180’s looks a value bet at 5/4.
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
- Chisnall is on a run of 4 matches without a win in the Premier League following his 7-4 loss to James Wade last week. Statistically it was Chisnall’s poorest performance of this year’s Premier League as he recorded his lowest average and checkout %, take nothing away from Wade though who did perform well but Chisnall was below his best.
- At last weekend’s UK Open he lost in his first match, given a very tough draw against Gary Anderson he suffered a 9-7 defeat.
- His average of 96.26 was his lowest average in the Premier League for 14 matches.
- MVG moved to the top of the table after his 7-2 win over Peter Wright last week. It was another outstanding performance from van Gerwen as he averaged 116.67 and hit 7 of his 8 attempts at a double.
- He continued his dominance across to the UK Open last weekend where he won his second consecutive UK Open title and his sixth tournament of the season (from only 9 played). On his way to victory in the UK Open he defeated Phil Taylor in the semis and then Peter Wright in the final.
- He has now averaged over 110 in 6 of his last 11 matches in the Premier League.
Head to Head
MVG has a 23-9 winning record against Chisnall in their previous meetings (they have also drawn 1 match). Chisnall has defeated van Gerwen away from the TV screens this season when he won 6-4 in a UK Open qualifier but van Gerwen turned the tables in their next encounter at the Dutch Darts Masters when he won 6-3. MVG has largely dominated their previous TV matches with some very impressive performances and averages.
Chisnall has slipped down the table having failed to win in his last 4 matches and if he is not careful he could be facing a tense struggle to avoid elimination after week 9. MVG is showing imperious form in the Premier League (not to mention away from it too), and isn’t looking in the mood to ease off, he has enjoyed playing against Chisnall on the TV stage over the past year or so and that doesn’t bode well for Chizzy in this match.
I feel the better Chisnall plays here it would just push van Gerwen to a higher level and I expect the World Number 1 to win his 5th Premier League match in a row.
That’s it for my preview, don’t forget to catch me on twitter!