THE Premier League Darts competition kicks off on Leeds on Thursday night. Our man Michael Day (@daisy8ball) gives us his thoughts on all four games.
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall | Thursday 19:10 | Sky Sports 1
Both players are looking forward to their second outings in the league after debuts in 2014, and face each other first off in what looks a very close match indeed.
Many of their stats and figures are very similar….although ’Snakebites’ hair and trousers combination is unrivalled! Head to head meetings are very close, although Chisnall just shaded it in their PDL clashes last season with a win and a draw.
I expect a close match here and don’t expect there ever to be more than two legs between them.
Adrian Lewis v Raymond Van Barneveld | Thursday 19:50 | Sky Sports 1
Reigning champ Raymond Van Barneveld is suited to the Premier League. With a short format, fatigue is never a problem. Add in Barney’s popularity with the darting public and you can see why he feels so comfortable in this format. The Dutchman is also in great form having reached the final of the Masters tournament at Stadium MK last weekend.
Lewis is like a yo-yo. Sometimes outstanding, sometimes average, and it’s his consistency that he will have to put in order should he compete this season – but this year I think he will.
RVB has had the better of Lewis over the last 12 months, but Jackpot should still outscore the Dutchman, it’s whether he can clean up the legs at the end. I'm backing him to bang in more 180's than RVB in this match at 10/11 with Sportingbet.
Michael Van Gerwen v Kim Huybrechts | Thursday 20:30 | Sky Sports 1
I’m surprised there isn’t a market for most outrageous facial expression in this match! They’ll be testosterone a plenty, and high scores to boot.
Huybrechts will be chomping at the bit for his League debut, whilst Van Gerwen picked up his seventh PDC major when winning the Masters last Sunday.
In their last clash in November, the Belgian shocked MVG in an amazing performance which included a 9 dart finish. I expect fireworks form the pair on this occasion too, and you never know, my bet on a tournament 9 darter from my Outright column might just payout.
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson | Thursday 21:10 | Sky Sports 1
This used to be a match for a Taylor banker, but their will be no self doubt for the new world champion Gary Anderson. The Scot has managed to tame missed doubles, and has found a harmony in his game with consistent powerful displays both on the floor and the stage.
His record over the Power is a good one in the last year. He defeated him on route to winning the Players Championship in November, and obviously that epic final which went all the way at the Alexandra Palace a few weeks ago.
There are constant questions about Taylor's game, but he is still the world number two and capable of winning any event he enters. At the moment, I feel he’s lacking aggression in his game, and the Taylor fear factor is not there.
With that current mindset in place I fancy Anderson to just pip it and will back him at 6/4 with William Hill.
James Wade v Stephen Bunting | Thursday 21:50 | Sky Sports 1
Yet another close match up for our final game of the evening, and what a combination of styles to look forward to.
These players met at the Worlds recently, and it was Bunting who easily dispatched an underperforming James Wade. That was on route to the last eight for debutant Bunting, one of many performances last year which have earned him a selection in the PDL. Starting against ‘The Machine’ shouldn’t phase SB, he’s won the last three head to heads.
Wade is a cool customer though at the moment and will be out for revenge for not only that recent record, but after not being included in the last Premier League edition in 2014.
Adrian Lewis v Raymond Van Barneveld – Adrian Lewis most match 180's (10/11 Sportingbet)
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor – Gary Anderson to win (6/4 William Hill)
Over 144.5 checkout on the night (5/6 Coral)
Phil Taylor 5/1 v Gary Anderson 6/1
Michael reckons Gary Anderson is a good bet on Thursday and you can back him at a massive 6/1 with Betfair if you're a new customer. If you disagree with Michael how about Phil Taylor at 5/1? Great odds to start off the new Premier League season eh?
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