PDC Premier League – Week Fourteen Preview
James Wade vs Peter Wright
- Wade is in 5th place three points behind Adrian Lewis who sits 4th in the table.
- He suffered a 7-1 defeat against a rampant Michael van Gerwen last week; Wade’s average of 102.4 in that match was his highest in this year’s Premier League.
- His failure to win last week means he has only won 1 of his last 6 Premier League fixtures.
- Wade’s opponents have averaged over 100 against him in 6 of his last 8 PL matches.
- Wright is in 6th place level on points with Wade in 5th and three points behind 4th placed Adrian Lewis.
- Last week he picked up a vital 3 points from his two matches. First up he defeated Phil Taylor 7-4 inflicting Taylor’s first defeat since week one, and then in his second match he earned a draw against World Champion Gary Anderson.
- Wright’s average of 103.45 against Anderson was the 5th time in this year’s tournament that he has averaged over 103.
- Wright’s opponents have averaged over 100 against him in 8 of his last 10 matches.
Head to Head (Wade leads 13-6)
Wade leads their head to head win record but Wright has had the upper hand in recent matches having won each of the last 2 times they have played and 4 of their last 6 meetings. When they met earlier in this year’s tournament Wright won 7-4 having trailed 3-1 at one stage.
There is no doubting this is a must win game for both players if they are to keep alive their hopes of making the play-offs. They have both been on the end of some very good performances by opponents in this year’s league and perhaps are unfortunate not to have picked up more points. I don’t see either player running away with this match and it could come down to the vital twelfth and final leg. I’m going for a 7-5 win for Wright, I just feel he seems to be benefitting from having decided to stick with the same darts instead of tinkering and he will be confident after two good performances last week.
I have a few potential betting preferences on this match. They are: Over 11.5 legs in the match, Wright most 180’s and Wade over 98.5 checkout.
Gary Anderson vs Robert Thornton
- Anderson is 3rd in the table four points clear of 5th place and with a 15 leg advantage on leg difference is almost certain to be in the play-offs, if Wade and Wright draw their match prior to Anderson playing he will be confirmed as through.
- Although Anderson has only lost 1 match in his last 12 Premier League fixtures he has only won 1 of his last 6 matches, with 4 draws in his last 6 games.
- Anderson has averaged over 100 in 7 of his last 10 matches, and has in fact averaged over 99 in 9 of his last 10 matches.
- Thornton is well adrift at the foot or the table and is guaranteed to finish there at the end of the season.
- Last week he lost 7-2 to Adrian Lewis, that was his second 7-2 defeat in a row; he has been beaten in 5 of his last 6 Premier League fixtures.
- His opponents have averaged over 100 in only 1 of his last 8 Premier League matches.
Head to Head (Anderson leads 14-11 they have also drawn once).
Their meeting earlier in this year’s Premier League was actually their first encounter since June 2014. Anderson won that match 7-4 (with Thornton having led 3-0), they both averaged under 90 at the end of the match. That was also Anderson’s first ever win in the Premier League against Thornton having twice lost 7-2 and drawn 6-6 in their previous meeting in the PL back in 2014.
Anderson is almost mathematically guaranteed to be in the play-offs and in fact could already be certain of his place by the time he takes to the stage. His hopes of finishing higher than 3rd aren’t realistic so his motivation might not be as high as it could be, though he will want to enter the play-offs on the back of some wins so I expect him to be switched on. Thornton has proved he can perform to a high level but after recording averages of 104 and 105 in consecutive matches he has been way below that standard in his last 3 matches.
I expect Anderson to win this match but have no strong preference on a particular score.
Michael van Gerwen vs Raymond van Barneveld
- van Gerwen has reclaimed top spot in the league table for the first time since he led after week 8. He is level on points with Taylor but ahead on legs difference.
- Last week he produced a very impressive performance to defeat Wade 7-1 and win his 3rd consecutive match.
- MVG is unbeaten in the Premier League since he lost to Wade in Week 1, this is a run of 13 matches.
- He heads the most tournament 180’s count over the rest of the 8 players left in the league. His total of 56 is 12 more than his nearest challenger Peter Wright who has 44.
- van Barneveld’s play-off chances have ended following his 7-5 defeat to Anderson last week. He is now in 7th place a total of 6 points behind 4th place with only 4 points available.
- His 7-5 defeat against Anderson was his 6th 7-5 defeat of the season.
- The average of Barney’s opponents throughout the league is 95.99, this is the lowest average against any of the 8 players left in the league.
Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 23-16 they have also drawn once)
When they met earlier in this year’s competition they drew 6-6 in a very entertaining match, Barney will have felt unfortunate not to have won the match having led 5-2, he had a dart to win the match 7-4 but MVG finished strongly and managed to salvage a point. Barney is unbeaten in his last 2 matches against MVG having beaten him at the World Championships.
There is always an extra edge when these two meet with plenty of pride at stake, Barney has shown how he can raise his game when facing van Gerwen and even though he has no big motivation in terms of league points as he is not in contention for a play-off place he will still have plenty of motivation because of who he is playing. MVG is determined to finish at the top of the table and he again proved last week what a force he is when he brushed aside James Wade so convincingly. I think van Barneveld will give van Gerwen a good game but I expect van Gerwen to emerge as the winner by a 7-4 scoreline.
Adrian Lewis vs Phil Taylor
- Lewis is 4th in the table with a 3 point lead over both Wade and Wright who are 5th and 6th He will be hoping they draw their match earlier in the evening which would mean he would need just a point from his last 2 matches, although his superior leg difference could be a factor too. He does face Anderson next week and won’t want to go into that match needing to win.
- He bounced back well from back to back defeats by beating Thornton 7-2 last week. Punishing missed doubles by Thornton to break throw twice.
- Lewis averaged 96.55 last week; he has only averaged over 100 in 2 of his last 13 Premier League matches.
- He only managed to hit 1x 180 last week, in 4 of his last 6 matches he has had a total of 1 or less 180’s in a match.
- Taylor is now in 2nd place in the league, level on points with van Gerwen but he trails by 3 legs on the legs difference count.
- Last week he lost 7-4 to Peter Wright and in doing so suffered his first defeat since week one. It wasn’t a bad performance from Taylor as he averaged over 106 but he came up against some red hot finishing from Wright who only missed one attempt at a double.
- His average of 106.48 was his highest average since week four and his 3rd best in this year’s Premier League.
Head to Head (Taylor leads 51-15, they have also drawn twice)
Taylor has a big lead over Lewis in their head to head win record but much of this domination came in the early years of their meetings. In more recent times Lewis has enjoyed a more even share of the spoils. Taylor has won their last two encounters prior to that Lewis had won four in a row. When they met earlier in this year’s Premier League Taylor won comfortably 7-1. Since the Premier League switch to the current format in 2013 Taylor has won 5, drawn 1 and lost 1 against Lewis, five of those seven matches have been settled in under 11 legs.
Taylor went down to his first Premier League defeat since week one when he lost to Peter Wright last week he didn’t play poorly however and in fact he performed better than he had done in some of his recent wins. Lewis has given himself an excellent opportunity to qualify for the play-offs and he would only have himself to blame if he failed now, he hasn’t performed well in the matches against MVG, Taylor and Anderson in this year’s tournament and would have to show an improvement if he is to get the better of Taylor here. I think Taylor will win 7-4 or 7-5.
My main tips for the evening are.
Taylor to win with Lewis winning 4 or more legs (3.25).
Wade/Wright over 11.5 legs (2.25).