Perfect time for Power v Barney
It is always an eventful and exciting night when the Premier League arrives in Scotland and no more so than in Glasgow which has been the scene of some memorable events in the competition over the years.
The players return there this week and the stakes are as high as they have ever been with the first ever relegation in Premier League history just a week away that no one wants to go into the record books as being a part of.
Three weeks ago it seemed an unavoidable fate for Adrian Lewis who was yet to pick up a point and was rooted to the foot of the table but after two wins and a draw from his last three he is out of the drop zone and with every chance of mounting a late charge for the semi-finals.
Jackpot takes on Andy Hamilton in Glasgow though and in the Hammer he faces a man in fine form. Hamilton is coming off back-to-back wins and although any win in the Premier League is impressive beating Phil Taylor and Simon Whitlock consecutively is especially noteworthy. These results have taken him to the verge of the top four and is only behind the likes of Taylor and James Wade on leg difference.
Lewis obviously won the big one between these two when he won the 2012 World Championship final but their record overall is a very level one and in last year’s Premier League the Hammer had the edge winning one with the other being drawn.
Lewis goes into this one as favourite but no one will back him with the utmost confidence and if you were to back either man then the Hammer looks the best value by a mile at 17/10 with Blue Square. It should be tight whoever pinches it though given the form of each man and the ever-popular over 11.5 legs market looks good at 5/4 with Sky Bet.
The second match of the evening will see the winner looking onwards and upwards and the loser sweating over the threat of relegation as both Simon Whitlock and Robert Thornton are both very much in limbo at the moment.
Whitlock sits in seventh place on six points with Thornton just ahead of him on seven so although both have picked up impressive results thus far neither are safe just yet. Neither man won last week so neither can boast much form going into this crunch battle and neither can claim a far superior record over their previous contests with it being very level between the pair since they first met in 2009.
As a result there isn’t much between the two in the betting with the Wizard just a marginal favourite which given his added experience in the competition you can understand. Rarely is a draw the most tempting bet but at 15/4 with Bet365 and with so little between the competitors it looks a very good price indeed.
It isn’t too often that a match between Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor is not the headline event of the night but in Glasgow the two legends are relegated to third on but wherever on the bill they’re placed they shouldn’t disappoint.
It looked like the wheels were coming off for the Power after consecutive losses but with a ton-plus average last night and a 7-2 win last week over Wes Newton, Taylor is right back on track. Barney has had to settle for draws in each of his last two matches but will be happy to keep up his record of just one loss in seven now which is thoroughly impressive.
Barney has never beaten Taylor in the Premier League but he will see this as his best chance in years with the Power’s form inconsistent and the Dutchman’s as good as it has been in recent memory.
Taylor is always pumped up to play his great rival though and the aura of the man is such that his best price is 7/10 to win on Thursday night. This makes Barney an incredibly long price at 11/4 with William Hill and there will be plenty taking them up on that offer, however, I wouldn’t recommend it just because of the Power’s record of stepping it up against Raymond.
An interesting bet could well be the checkout market as whatever the result it is certainly going to be a high quality affair. Both men will be forced into big finishes and whilst it is odds-on in most places, Sky Bet are offering evens on the highest checkout in the match being over 120.5 which looks a good price.
Adrian Lewis v Andy Hamilton over 11.5 legs @ 5/4 with Sky Bet
Simon Whitlock 6-6 Robert Thornton @ 15/4 with Bet365
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor highest checkout over 120.5 @ evens with Sky Bet
• End of the line for Newton
• Taylor to win big after woes
• Nothing between Hammer and Wizard
• Expect a Taylor backlash
• MVG to return to form in style
• Power to completely de-rail Flying Scotsman
• Nothing between Wade and Thornton
• Pointless Lewis out to 100/1 for Premier League title