PDC Premier League – Week Seven Preview

This week the Premier League action comes from Glasgow, we are now onto week seven and the players near the bottom are fighting for points to avoid elimination in two weeks time. Meanwhile at the top end of the table the top two will go head to head with van Gerwen and Taylor facing off in what promises to be the match of the night.

Here is the league table as it stands (complete with the usual player stats).

PL Table Week 7

Now on the previews.

Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis

 Anderson

  • Anderson won his third consecutive Premier League match last week when he defeated his protégé Michael Smith 7-3. It was a good performance from Anderson against a very spirited display from Smith. Although Anderson only hit 2x 180’s he had 12 scores of 140 or more and his finishing was excellent.
  • Last week’s win took his record to 7 wins from his last 9 Premier League matches (including play-offs). His only defeats in that spell were against van Gerwen and Taylor and he actually defeated both of those players too during those 9 matches.
  • At the weekend he lost in the semi-final of the opening Players Championship event on Saturday (he lost to Adrian Lewis in that semi-final). On the Sunday he lost in the Last 32 to Steve West.
  • If he wins it will be the first time since 2011 that he has won 4 consecutive Premier League matches. He actually completed the feat twice in 2011 which was also his debut season.

Lewis

  • Lewis moved into 3rd place in the table following his impressive 7-3 win over Peter Wright last week. It was an excellent performance from Lewis as he averaged just short of a 108, he started the match with an 11 dart leg on the Wright throw which set the tone for the whole game as both players threw consistently to a high standard.
  • Last weekend he narrowly lost 6-5 to Peter Wright in the final of the 1st Players Championship event; on his way to the final he registered back to back wins over van Gerwen and Anderson. On the Sunday in the 2nd tournament he was beaten by the eventual winner Stephen Bunting 6-5 in the Last 16, having led that match 5-0.
  • He scored 5x 180’s in the match against Wright last week having failed to hit one the week before. Altogether he has hit 4 or more 180’s in 4 of his last 5 Premier League matches.

Head to Head

Anderson leads their head to head win record 22-17 (they have also drawn 3 times). Their highest profile recent meeting was in the World Championship final at the start of this year when Anderson took the title. Lewis won their most recent match which came only days ago in a Players Championship event away from the TV. Anderson has come out on top in each of their last 3 Premier League encounters, which included a 7-1 win last year.

Verdict

This match was originally scheduled to be played in Week 1, but with Anderson not fit to play through illness the fixtures were switched and he is playing twice this week. Lewis certainly won’t benefit from the change as he was supposed to be playing Michael Smith but is now up against Gary Anderson in front of the Scottish crowd which hasn’t shown Lewis the greatest of respect and order in the past, so the crowd will be very much against Jackpot.

The bookies have Lewis as the underdog here although it has to be said he has been in the better form throughout 2016, part of this may be due to the ‘home advantage’ for Anderson. I do think Lewis to win with Anderson winning at least 4 legs looks decent value at odds of 4/1, though I wouldn’t stake big. I also think Lewis more than 3.5 180’s looks a possible bet.

 

James Wade v Robert Thornton

Wade

  • Wade came through a tight match against van Barneveld last week, just getting over the line 7-5. It was his second win in a row and moved him into 4th place in the league table. His superior finishing was essentially the difference, hitting 7 out of 12 compared to 5 from 16 from van Barneveld.
  • It wasn’t a successful weekend for Wade at the opening two Players Championship tournaments, on Saturday he lost in the Last 32 to van Barneveld and on Sunday he suffered a Last 64 exit to Mick McGowan.
  • He is aiming to win 3 consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since 2013 when his 3 victims were van Gerwen, Anderson and Lewis. He is also looking to register 3 consecutive 100+ averages in the Premier League for the first time since 2013.
  • Two more checkouts of 100+ last week took his total of 3 figure checkouts in this year’s Premier League to 10 and a total of 7 across his last 3 matches.
  • In 5 of his last 7 Premier League matches he has had a total of 3 180’s or more.

Thornton

  • Thornton suffered his second 7-0 defeat of the Premier League season when he was comfortably defeated by Phil Taylor last week. He only managed 3 attempts at a double in the whole match and his match average was 88.38.
  • His poor 2016 continued at the weekend when he lost in the 1st round of Players Championship One to Andy Jenkins, he did fare a little better a day later in the second tournament winning 2 games before losing 6-5 to eventual winner Stephen Bunting.
  • He has now won just 2 of his last 24 matches in the Premier League and is without a win in his last 10 matches played on TV.
  • Thornton has averaged below 90 in 4 of his 5 Premier League matches in 2016.

Head to Head

Wade has won 12 of their 19 previous meetings, including 4 out of the last 5 they have played. The last time they faced each other was last September at a Euro Tour event with Wade the victor. In the Premier League they have met twice, both matches were in 2013 and Wade came out on top 7-1 and 7-4.

Verdict

Wade has looked very good in his last two Premier League matches, easing any worries about getting sucked into an elimination battle and his sights are firmly on competing for a play-off place. Thornton has been struggling for a while and losing 7-0 again last week will have done his confidence no good.  He still has a chance of avoiding elimination but his performances will have to vastly improve to make that a reality.

I expect Wade to win this match, his scoring and finishing is too consistent to give Thornton chances he needs. In terms of betting I think Wade to win whilst having the highest checkout and most 180’s is tempting at odds of 7/2, Wade to win and have the most 180’s (11/5) and another bet of Wade to have more than 2x 180’s in the match.

 

Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor

van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen made it 5 wins in a row last week with a 7-2 win over Dave Chisnall. It was another mightily impressive performance where MVG averaged 113.47 giving Chisnall little chance.
  • Last weekend was a rare weekend without a tournament win for van Gerwen. In the two Players Championship events he lost to Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals on Saturday and lost to Stephen Bunting in the final on Sunday. Notably he did hit a 9 dart finish on Sunday and also had a remarkable 150 finish comprised of 3 bull finishes.
  • His average of 113.47 last week made it 4 averages of over 110 in his last 5 Premier League matches.
  • Should he win this match the run of 6 wins in a row would be his best ever sequence in the Premier League.
  • In total he has won 58.3% of his legs in the 2016 Premier League in 12 darts or less, with only 3 winning legs in 16 darts or more.

Taylor

  • Taylor also made it 5 Premier League wins in row last week when he defeated Robert Thornton without dropping a leg. Although his opponent struggled, take nothing away from another very good performance from Taylor.
  • Last weekend he ran into van Gerwen in the Last 16 of the Players Championship event on Saturday and lost 6-2. The previous evening he had played in two Euro Tour qualifying events and was defeated by Ross Smith in the first one before exacting his revenge and qualifying for the second one. In the second Players Championship on Sunday he lost 6-5 to Matt Clark in an early round.
  • He is looking to win 6 Premier League matches in a row for the first time since 2012.
  • He has averaged over 100 in each of his last 5 PL matches and has done so in 9 of his last 10 PL matches going back to last season.

Head to Head

Taylor leads their head to head record 27-19, but more significantly van Gerwen has won 8 of their last 9 meetings, including their most recent meeting last weekend as mentioned above. This will actually be their 7th meeting in 2016. MVG has an excellent record against Taylor in the Premier League, having won 4 and lost 1 (they have also shared a draw). MVG won both times they met in last year’s Premier League.

Verdict

This is a very enticing meeting between the top two players in the league, but there is far more than just league points at stake there is a whole lot of pride. MVG wanting to prove he is by the far the best and Taylor wanting to show he still has what it takes to get one over on van Gerwen. The form they have both been showing in the Premier League over the past few weeks suggests we are in for a cracking match.

I think van Gerwen will come out on top in this match and believe backing him to win with Taylor to win at least 4 legs is a good option.

 

 

Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall

van Barneveld

  • Raymond van Barneveld suffered his 3rd successive Premier League defeat when he lost a tight match 7-5 to James Wade last week. Missed doubles proved very costly for Barney as he lost 4 legs in which he had the first dart at a double and his overall double success rate of just 5 hits from 16 attempts tells the tale.
  • Barney got some revenge over Wade at the weekend when he defeated him in the first Players Championship tournament on Saturday before losing 6-5 to Gary Anderson in the next round (Last 16). In Sunday’s tournament he suffered an early defeat to Wes Newton.
  • The last time van Barneveld lost more than 3 games in a row in the Premier League was back in 2010 when he lost 5 in a row.

Chisnall

  • Chisnall is without a win in 5 Premier League matches and has lost each of his last 3 following the 7-2 defeat against van Gerwen last week. MVG gave a very high standard performance against Chisnall averaging over a 113, but Chizzy himself didn’t play to quite the level he is capable of and only averaged 93 with just the 2 legs where he had attempts at a double.
  • The two opening Players Championship tournaments played last weekend weren’t very fruitful for Chisnall. He suffered a first round exit to Mark Barilli on Saturday and the next day he lost in the Last 32 to Jyhan Artut.
  • His average of 93.03 against MVG last week was his lowest for 15 matches in the Premier League.
  • Last week for the second match in succession he was on the receiving end of 3 checkouts of 100 or more against him with Wade also hitting three 3 figure checkouts in Week 5.

Head to Head

RVB leads their head to head win record 8-4 (they have also drawn once), and has won their last two encounters, they last met in September 2015 when Barney came out on top 6-4 in a ProTour event. In the Premier League van Barneveld has won 2, Chisnall has won 1 and they drew the other game,  all of their 4 previous PL meetings have gone to the 12th leg,

Verdict

This is a big game for both players as they are currently both on a run of 3 defeats in a row that leaves them too close to the bottom two places for comfort. Defeat for either would pile a lot of pressure on going into the next two matches where elimination awaits the players who are sitting in 9th and 10th place after week nine. I do think they have had performances and matches where they could have picked up more points but you have to take your chances in the Premier League.

All of their previous meetings in the Premier League have gone to the deciding leg and I think this is again worth looking at if having a bet on the match. My selection is over 11.5 legs.

 

Gary Anderson v Peter Wright

 Anderson

  • Anderson will be competing in his second match of the evening having already faced Adrian Lewis in the opening game. The bullet points below for Anderson are the same as for his preview against Lewis.
  • Anderson won his third consecutive Premier League match last week when he defeated his protégé Michael Smith 7-3. It was a good performance from Anderson against a very spirited display from Smith. Although Anderson only hit 2x 180’s he had 12 scores of 140 or more and his finishing was excellent.
  • Last week’s win took his record to 7 wins from his last 9 Premier League matches (including play-offs). His only defeats in that spell were against van Gerwen and Taylor and he actually defeated both of those players too during those 9 matches.
  • At the weekend he lost in the semi-final of the opening Players Championship event on Saturday (he lost to Adrian Lewis in that semi-final). On the Sunday he lost in the Last 32 to Steve West.

Wright

  • Last week Wright lost for the second week in a row when he went down to a 7-3 defeat against Adrian Lewis. It certainly wasn’t a poor performance from Wright who averaged 106.79; having averaged 108.98 the week before in his defeat against MVG there is no need for panic.
  • Wright tasted success last weekend on the ProTour, he won the opening Players Championship event on Saturday beating Lewis 6-5 in the final. On the Sunday he went all the way to the semi-finals before losing 6-5 to eventual winner Stephen Bunting.
  • The averages in Wright’s last two Premier League matches are his highest two averages recorded in the Premier League.

Head to Head

Anderson has a 15-11 lead on wins from their previous encounters. They haven’t actually met since February 2015 which is quite surprising. Anderson has won each of their last 3 meetings on TV which includes a 7-1 win in last year’s Premier League.

Verdict

This match is a little tougher to read due to Anderson playing a fixture earlier in the evening, and it is unknown if that will be a benefit or work against him, whatever the case, he is in for a tough match against Peter Wright. Although Wright has been beaten in his last two Premier League matches as mentioned above, his performances haven’t been bad, he reached the final of the UK Open recently as well as having some good results away from the TV stage last weekend.

I have no big preference on who will win this match; but hopefully it will be a quality match between two quality players.

 

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