Whitlock and MVG value for big finish
Unless things very much go his way in the first half of the evening the pressure is going to be on Simon Whitlock to pull out a huge performance against Michael van Gerwen in Brighton on Thursday.
If either Gary Anderson or Wes Newton win their matches then Whitlock will need at least a draw against the Dutchman to have any chance of staying in the Premier League. A victory will secure the Wizard’s place in the competition no matter what and a draw would most likely do the same but a loss will almost certainly prove fatal for last year’s runner-up.
The Australian has been surprisingly inconsistent this campaign with just three wins coming out of eight contests with losses making up the rest. Consecutive defeats to Andy Hamilton and Robert Thornton in his last two bouts have put him in this predicament and things do not get any easier as he prepares to meet MVG.
The Dutchman may have lost last week to Wade but with a near 105 average he hardly played badly and he reached the semi-final of the European Darts Trophy on Monday which saw him climb to second in the world above Adrian Lewis. He is a man in incredible form and although Whitlock has it in his locker to compete with MVG at his best, the odds are against him to do it in Brighton when it matters.
The Wizard has not beaten the Dutchman since 2011 and lost heavily to him just last month in a UK Open qualifier so it is no surprise that Mighty Mike is favourite and I expect him to win although Whitlock will put up a fight.
This may seem a bit of a leftfield suggestion but these two are arguably the two best 170 finish hitters in the game and surprisingly Paddy Power are offering a massive 20/1 on there being one in this contest. It is something of a punt but could be very profitable indeed especially as both regularly have a go at it.
By the final bout of the night relegation could well be decided but if things really do not go his way then Adrian Lewis may need to get a result against Raymond van Barneveld. Plenty will need to happen if Lewis were to go down and it is far more likely that he will be playing this contest with no pressure at all rather than a lot of it.
This may well be the first time that Lewis has played without a huge amount of pressure in the event to date and this could further improve his form which has already been on a steady incline. He has three wins and a draw from his last four games and compare this to Barney’s one win, two draws and a loss then Jackpot should go into this one as favourite. That is not the case though with Lewis at 2/1 with Ladbrokes whilst the Dutchman is at 11/10 elsewhere.
Barney has certainly not been playing badly and could easily pinch this one himself but I fancy Lewis to thrive with the threat of the drop out of the window by the time he takes to the stage.
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock 170 finish @ 20/1 with Paddy Power
Adrian Lewis to win @ 2/1 with Ladbrokes
• Whitlock great value against Wade
• Barney could batter Lewis
• Sorry Lewis set for fourth straight defeat
• Wade the value bet against Barney
• Taylor must beat Hamilton
• Whitlock is back in form
• MVG can hurt Taylor semi-final chances
• Hammer and Barney set for another tight one
• In form Newton to keep winning