PDC Premier League – Week Fifteen Preview
Robert Thornton v James Wade
- Thornton has lost each of his last 4 Premier League matches and in total has won just 2 of his 15 matches in this year’s competition.
- He has failed to hit more than 2x 180’s in any of his last 5 Premier League matches.
- He has had a checkout of over 76 in only 2 of his last 5 matches.
- Wade has lost 7-1 in each of his last 2 Premier League matches and has failed to win any of his last 5.
- Wade has scored more than 2x 180’s in only 2 of his last 8 matches in the Premier League. His opponents have hit more than 2x 180’s in 11 of his last 12 matches.
- He failed to have a ton plus checkout in only 3 of his opening 12 matches, since then he has failed to have a ton plus checkout in any of his last 3 matches.
- Wade’s opponents have averaged 99+ in 10 of his last 13 Premier League matches.
Head to Head (Wade leads 13-7)
Wade has the superior record from their previous meetings having won 13 of their 20 encounters including 5 of their last 6. In the Premier League Wade has won on each of the 4 occasions they have met (Wade has won 28 legs to 11 over these 4 matches).
Only pride is at stake in this match with Thornton bottom of the table and with Wade having no chance of qualifying for the final four following his comprehensive defeat against Wright last week. Wade has a good record against Thornton and has generally performed to a higher level throughout this year’s Premier League. I do think Wade is the player more likely to win but I won’t be recommending a bet on what could be an unpredictable match.
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
- Two wins and a draw in his last three matches have given Wright a chance of making the play-offs, he is currently one point behind Lewis and a win here would really put the pressure on Lewis who plays against Anderson in the next match on stage.
- Overall Wright is unbeaten in 6 of his last 8 Premier League matches (funnily enough one of those defeats came against top of the table MVG whilst the other was against bottom of the table Thornton).
- Wright is 2nd in the top 180 hitters in this year’s Premier League having hit a total of 50. He has scored a combined total of 10x 180’s in his last two matches.
- Barney is certain to finish in 7th place regardless of the result in this match.
- He has failed to win in 9 of his last 12 matches.
- Last week he hit 5x 180’s which was his highest 180 total in a match during this year’s Premier League.
Head to Head (van Barneveld leads 7-4, they have also drawn twice)
Raymond van Barneveld has the edge in their overall head to head record but this lead is built on a 5 match winning run over their first 5 meetings. Wright has won each of the last 3 times they have played and is unbeaten in his last 4 matches against Barney (the last win for Barney came back in October 2014).
It’s a huge match for Wright who realistically may have to win to have a chance of making the play-offs, he could still go through with a draw but that would mean Lewis would have to lose by a hefty score against Anderson. Even a win wouldn’t be enough if Lewis were to win himself. Normally facing someone who has nothing to play for in terms of league placing might be a positive for Wright but he is facing van Barneveld in the Netherlands so Barney will be highly motivated to perform in front of his own fans and put on a good display.
It really is difficult to tell how this will pan out, if van Barneveld turns up focused he will be a very tough nut to crack, Wright has looked a lot more at ease having stuck with the same darts in the last couple of weeks and I do think whatever the result we are in for an entertaining match. I think at the end of it we might see a draw. Backing over 11.5 legs looks a decent bet.
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
- Lewis is in 4th place prior to the evening’s matches starting, but he could be in 5th place by the time he takes to the stage should Wright win against van Barneveld. Lewis could also be guaranteed his place in the play-offs without throwing a dart should Wright suffer defeat.
- Lewis has lost all 5 matches against fellow players currently in the top 4 places in the 2016 Premier League (those players are van Gerwen, Taylor and Anderson).
- He failed to hit a 180 in his match against Taylor last week. That was the 3rd time he has done so in the 2016 Premier League and he has only hit a total of 2x 180’s across his last 4 matches.
- Lewis has averaged over 97 in only 1 of his last 9 matches in the Premier League.
- Anderson has confirmed his place in the play-offs and is certain to finish in 3rd place regardless of the result in this match.
- Last weeks win over Thornton was only Anderson’s 2nd win from his last 7 matches though he has only lost 1 of his last 13 Premier League fixtures.
- He has averaged over 99 in 10 of his last 11 matches in the Premier League.
- There have been only 3 checkouts of 100 or more in Anderson’s last 7 matches (this includes checkouts for both Anderson and his opponents).
Head to Head (Anderson leads 23-18, they have also drawn 3 times)
Anderson leads their head to head win record and has in fact won 15 of their last 20 meetings, including 4 of their last 5 encounters. When they met earlier in this year’s Premier League, Anderson won 7-4 and in doing so extended his winning run in the Premier League against Lewis to 4 consecutive wins.
The intensity in this match will be decided by the result in the Wright vs van Barneveld match and without knowing how that match will finish it is difficult to assess this game with any conviction. If Wright does win and manages to put pressure on Lewis it will be very interesting to see how Lewis responds, despite his league position he has had some very inconsistent performances and as mentioned, his record against the other players in the top four leaves a lot to be desired. Anderson can just go out with no pressure and play comfortably in the knowledge whatever happens won’t affect his league position though this may mean Anderson’s lesser focus and motivation could lead to a below par performance.
Overall I would recommend some caution if betting on this match before knowing the outcome of the earlier match between Wright and RVB. If I were predicting the result by their form in Premier League match performances I would have to tip Anderson.
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
- Taylor bounced back from his defeat against Wright with a comfortable 7-2 win over Lewis last week. That result sees Taylor in 2nd place and behind van Gerwen on leg difference going into this week.
- Taylor is unbeaten in 13 of his last 14 Premier League fixtures.
- His opponent’s in his last 7 Premier League matches have all averaged under 100.
- None of his last 4 opponents have managed to hit more than 2x 180’s against Taylor.
- van Gerwen sits at the top of the table ahead of Taylor on legs difference and needs only a draw to cement his place at the top of the table after this, the final week of the league phase. MVG has finished top of the table in each of the 3 previous years in which he has participated in the league.
- His win against van Barneveld last week took his run of wins to 4 in a row, if he wins this game it will equal the run of 5 wins in a row he had earlier in the season. He is also unbeaten since losing in week one to James Wade.
- His match average of 107.93 against Barney means he has now averaged over 105 in 11 of his 15 league matches so far this season.
Head to Head (Taylor leads 27-20, they have also drawn twice)
Taylor may have a lead in their head to head win record but it is van Gerwen who has dominated their recent meetings, van Gerwen is unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 encounters (This run stretches back to August 2014). In the Premier League Taylor has just 1 win against MVG in 8 matches (league and knock-out included). When they met earlier in this year’s tournament they shared a 6-6 draw.
The perfect match to round off the league phase of this year’s tournament with a battle to see who will finish top of the table, MVG holds the advantage as he can afford to draw and will still finish top whereas Taylor needs a win. Added to the occasion is the fact the game is played in Rotterdam which should see MVG enjoying a massive home support. There is a whole lot of pride at stake and both players would desperately love to finish top of the table and finish ahead of their rival. MVG has played to a consistently higher level than any other player in the league this season and would be a deserved winner without doubt. Taylor missed out on the play-offs last year and hasn’t finished top of the table since 2012.
I think van Gerwen will rise to the occasion of playing a Premier League match in his home nation and will produce another impressive performance to defeat Taylor and take 1st place in the table.