PDC Premier League Week Twelve Preview
Week 12 – April 21 – Bournemouth International Centre
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
- van Gerwen drew 6-6 with Gary Anderson last week to remain in 2nd place in the table, he is 4 points behind Phil Taylor with a game in hand which will be played against Adrian Lewis in the last match of the evening.
- The draw against Anderson was MVG’s fourth draw in his last five matches. He is still unbeaten since losing to Wade in week one which is a run of 10 games without defeat, equalling his previous best unbeaten run at the start of the 2015 season,
- His average of 110.55 last week was the 6th time he has averaged over 110 in this year’s competition, overall he has averaged over 105 in 9 of his 11 fixtures so far.
- He hit 6x 180’s last week, which was the second week in a row and the third time this season that he has done so. Last year he had 2 weeks in the whole tournament where he hit 6x 180’s or more.
- Wright is 3 points outside the top 4 following his 7-2 defeat against Thornton last week. It was a below par performance from Wright who switched his darts and never looked settled though Thornton did play well and averaged 105.61
- Wright’s defeat against Thornton means he has now won just 1 of his last 8 Premier League matches; he picked up 7 points in his first 4 matches of the season and has now earned just 4 points from his last 7 matches.
- After averaging over 101 in 4 consecutive matches from weeks 5 to 8 he has now averaged under 98 in each of the last 3 weeks and indeed has averaged under 94 in his last 2 matches.
Head to Head
van Gerwen has a very healthy win record over Wright in their head to head meetings having won 33 matches with Wright winning 8 times (they have also drawn once). MVG has won each of their last 7 meetings and has only suffered 1 defeat in his last 17 matches against Wright. When they met earlier on in this year’s Premier League it was van Gerwen who came out on top 7-2 averaging 116.67 in the process.
Wright’s play-off chances suffered a knock last week when he went down to a convincing defeat against Thornton, tinkering with his darts didn’t help, though his opponent did put in a strong performance it has to be said. Michael van Gerwen may have dropped points by drawing again last week but there was nothing wrong with his performance against Anderson in what was a top quality match, van Gerwen will be determined to win to try and close the gap on Taylor at the top of the table.
As mentioned in the head to head section van Gerwen has an excellent record against Wright and I think this will continue, I don’t think Wright will be as poor as he was last week but I feel the better he plays it will just inspire MVG to raise his level
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
- Raymond van Barneveld is 5 points off the play-off places with just 4 games to play so looks unlikely to be featuring in the play-offs.
- Last week he played twice, firstly losing 7-5 to Phil Taylor when he produced a good fightback from 5-1 down to take the match into the final leg. In his second match he defeated bottom of the table Robert Thornton 7-4 in a low key match.
- Barney’s win against Thornton was only his second win in his last nine Premier League matches with what was actually his second lowest average of the league season.
- Lewis is sitting nicely in third place in the table a point ahead of fourth placed Gary Anderson and just a point behind van Gerwen who is in second place.
- Last week he defeated James Wade 7-5 to earn his third win from his last four fixtures and he is unbeaten in those last four matches. Lewis led 4-1 but saw his lead overturned when Wade won 4 legs in a row, he responded in the perfect fashion with a magnificent 9 dart finish and won the final 3 legs to take a vital win.
- Lewis has now won a total of 7 matches in this Premier League season, this is the highest amount of games he has ever won in the league phase of the Premier League.
- The 144 checkout which he hit to complete his 9 dart finish was his highest checkout in this year’s tournament and last week was only the fourth match from his eleven played where he managed a three figure checkout.
Head to Head
Barney leads their overall win record 27-20 (they have drawn twice also). Recent games have gone very much in favour of Lewis though; he has won each of their last 5 encounters and has won 7 of the last 8 matches they have played. When they faced each other earlier in this seasons competition Lewis edged a tight match 7-5.
It looks as though Lewis has the bigger incentive to get the win in this match; he is in a strong position to make the play-offs for the first time since 2011. It is difficult to assess the motivation of Barney with a play-off spot seemingly out of reach, will he ease off or will he just go out to finish as strongly as possible. I don’t expect him to allow his opponents an easy ride. There hasn’t really been much to separate these two in overall performance in this year’s PL, Barney has lost too many of the close games whilst Lewis has manged to get over the line in the tight matches. When they played earlier in the campaign it went the full 12 legs and this has the potential to do so again.
I am tipping Lewis to just get over the line and win 7-5.
Gary Anderson v James Wade
- Anderson is in 4th place, a point ahead of Wade who is 5th though he does have a game in hand.
- Last week he was involved in a very high quality 6-6 draw against van Gerwen where he averaged 108.24 (his highest match average in this year’s Premier League), van Gerwen averaged over 110 in a match where every leg went with throw.
- His draw last week means he is without a win in his last 3 matches (he has drawn 2 of these). He hasn’t gone 4 matches without a win in a single Premier League season since 2012.
- Against MVG he produced his best finishing of the season so far, missing only 1 attempt at a double in winning his 6 legs.
- Wade is in 5th place, one point outside the top four but he has also played a game more than the three players directly above him in the table.
- Last week he suffered his second defeat in a row when he went down to a narrow 7-5 loss against Lewis. Wade had recovered from falling 4-1 behind to lead 5-4 only for Lewis to hit a 9 dart finish. In the final leg of the match Wade missed a dart at bull to take out a 161 checkout and earn a 6-6 draw.
- During the last 4 weeks he has only averaged over 97 in one of his matches. During his first 8 matches he only averaged under 97 once.
- Yet again last week he had a checkout of over 100 in a match, meaning he has managed this in 9 of his 12 matches this PL season. He has also had a three figure checkout against him in 9 of his 12 matches.
Head to Head
Anderson has a good win record against Wade, he leads 26-11 on overall wins (they have also drawn 2 times). Wade has failed to beat Anderson in their last 11 matches, his last win coming in October 2014. They have drawn 6-6 in their last two Premier League meetings, including earlier this season.
With only one place separating these two players in the table there is no doubting this is a key match, especially for Wade as he is 2 points behind Anderson and has played a game more. Should Anderson win here he would be 4 points ahead of Wade with only 3 games left for Wade. The head to head stats suggest Wade has a big task on his hands having failed to beat Anderson in their last 11 meetings and I think that run will be extended to 12 matches.
I predict Anderson to win with Wade winning at least 4 legs. I also think Wade to have the highest checkout looks good value.
Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton
- Taylor is sitting at the top of the table with a 4 point lead over Michael van Gerwen; Taylor has played one game more than the three players directly behind him.
- His 7-5 win over van Barneveld took his unbeaten Premier League run to 11 matches, he has won 9 of those 11 matches and has now won each of this last 4 games.
- Taylor has had a checkout of 100 or more against him in 5 of his last 6 matches; he didn’t have a checkout of 100 or more against him at all during his opening 6 fixtures.
- He currently has 20 points after 12 matches, his highest points total since the league format changed to 16 matches in 2013 is 20.
- Thornton is bottom of the table and 3 points behind van Barneveld who is a place above him in 7th.
- Last week he played twice in the same evening with mixed results. He opened with a very impressive 105.61 average in a 7-2 win against Peter Wright but rounded off averaging 88.16 in a 7-4 defeat against van Barneveld.
- Thornton has had 4 or more 180s against him in each of his last 3 matches and in total 4 or more 180s in 7 of his 12 matches this season.
Head to Head
Taylor leads their overall head to head record with 20 wins to 6, and has won each of their last 4 meetings going back to April 2014. Thornton has beaten Taylor on the TV stage 3 times, including once in the Premier League but was beaten heavily 7-0 by Taylor earlier in the season.
It’s top versus bottom in the Premier League. Taylor is riding high on an unbeaten 11 match run and on course for his best points total since 2012, not all of his recent performances have been dominant but his confidence and belief are showing through and he will be determined to finish top of the table. Thornton had proved in some of his recent games that he will still be very competitive in the league despite having nothing to play for, his last match against van Barneveld was his worst performance since he lost 7-0 to Taylor in week 6, I do think part of that was down to the lack of intensity around the match and also they had both played earlier in the evening, I wouldn’t expect Thornton not to be highly motivated against Taylor.
Thornton might be more competitive against Taylor than he was in the 7-0 defeat but I don’t think he will have enough to get the better of the league leader. I expect Taylor to make it 5 wins in a row winning 7-3 or 7-4.
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Head to Head
Michael van Gerwen leads their head to head win record 26-12 (they have also drawn twice). Lewis ended a 5 match losing streak against van Gerwen when he won 6-4 in a Players Championship quarter-final encounter last month. MVG has won their last 4 meetings on the TV stage, the most recent of these came in the Premier League back in February when he won 7-4. The last TV win for Lewis over van Gerwen was in last year’s Premier League.
Both players will have played a match earlier in the evening and as a result their league positions may be different than at the time of me typing this. Going into week 12 there is just a point between them with van Gerwen on 16 and Lewis on 15. Regardless of their earlier results this a very intriguing match with plenty at stake. MVG has definitely performed to a higher level through the Premier League season and has to be favourite, it would be folly to right Lewis off easily such is his talent but I think van Gerwen will come out on top and take the two points.
My betting selection is van Gerwen to win with Lewis winning 4 or more legs.
My main tip of the evening is a double – Taylor to average over 100.50 and Anderson to have a higher average than Wade.