Van Gerwen to Retain Premier League, but it will not be easy
The climax of this season’s Premier League comes round this Thursday and it is difficult to see reigning champion Michael van Gerwen not keeping onto his title for another year.
The Dutchman is in fine form, as he displayed last week with an average of 110 to defeat Peter Wright and finish the group stage four points clear of his nearest rivals. He has proved beatable in this competition, but not when he performs like that.
However, he is meeting a player in fine fettle himself in the semi-finals as Gary Anderson brings a seven-match unbeaten run into the O2. The Scot even defeated MVG last time they met, in Birmingham, which was the last time the Dutchman was beaten.
This means that this will be close, with both men likely to be averaging three figures. I still think MVG will prosper, but Anderson with a +2.5 handicap does look pretty good at EVENS with Bet Victor.
Then comes yet another battle in the eternal struggle between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld. A month ago, it may have been that Barney would be the favourite for this one, but his form has dipped whilst Taylor’s is steadily improving, now the Power is clear odds-on favourite.
Barney had gone 12 games without defeat in the Premier League, but has now lost his last two, meaning he is the only player heading into the semi-finals on something of a downer. Taylor is still not at his peak, but is playing well enough to dispatch Barney who is not at his either.
These two met at the same stage last year, and despite the Dutchman averaging 109, Taylor triumphed 8-4. A similar scoreline can be expected this time around and backing Taylor with a -2.5 handicap at 10/11 with Bet365 looks a good option.
That would give us a repeat of last year’s final with the top two players in the world squaring off. They have a win a piece against each other in this tournament, and if they both are at their best, there is little to choose between them.
After last year’s stunning win on the O2 stage, though, it is MVG that has to be backed. He has been the best player throughout the Premier League and is one of the few men on the planet who knows how to beat the Power in a big final.
Mighty Mike is 11/8 with Sky Bet to win the Premier League for a second time, and that looks too good to turn down.