Barney Can End Great Anderson Run
Three matches will decide the semi-finalists in this year’s Premier League on Thursday night in Brighton. Three men can still claim the final two places in finals night, and the first man to stake his claim will be Gary Anderson.
The Scot has been in fine form in recent weeks, but he meets someone in equally good nick in Raymond van Barneveld. Barney may have lost last week, but that was to a rampant Michael van Gerwen so not too much can be read into that. Prior to that loss to his fellow Dutcman, he had gone 12 contests without a loss.
Anderson himself is without defeat in six Premier League outings so this is set to be a real cracker. Such has been Ando’s form, he has been made favourite, but that is a little hasty from the bookies. Seven times these two have met in this competition, and the Scot has only triumphed once. Last time they met in another major, Barney battered Gary 4-0 in the 2012 World Championships.
Barney playing well and confident of victory is a deadly combination; he looks a great price at 6/4 with Sporting Bet to put a dent in Anderson’s semi-final hopes.
If Anderson were to lose, that would all but guarantee Phil Taylor’s place in the semi-finals. The Power should have no issue with reaching the final four either way, as he should beat Robert Thornton on Thursday.
Taylor has played well without dominating the competition of late, but he is certainly playing well enough to beat the Thorn who has won just twice all tournament. Unsurprisingly, the Power is heavy odds-on favourite but he still looks good value with a -2.5 handicap at 5/6 with Bet365.
If these results come to pass then Peter Wright will just need a point in the final match of the evening to qualify. Unfortunately for Snakebite, that match is against the world champion MVG.
Van Gerwen has been beaten three times this tournament, so it is not out of the question, but if he hits a three-figure average, as he has done most weeks, it will be very difficult for Wright to hang onto his coat tails.
Whatever happens, this should be a high quality contest. Wright hit very few 180s in the opening weeks, but has really found his range with his new darts, whilst MVG is always prolific on the maximums. Over 5.5 180s in this match looks very good value at EVENS with Sky Bet, when it is odds-on elsewhere.
The first match of the evening has nothing riding on it at all as Adrian Lewis takes on Dave Chisnall. Chizzy has tailed off in recent weeks and looks something of a spent force in this competition. Jackpot has stopped the rot with a draw and a win in his last two outings and he should finish with another victory. The former world champ is 5/6 to win this one with Ladbrokes, which looks a good bet.