Whitlock can return to form against Barney
The battle to avoid relegation could be all but lost by one man on Thursday night in Exeter as the bottom two players in this year’s Premier League face-off with both Wes Newton and Adrian Lewis desperately needing points.
Newton has managed one draw and therefore one point from his three contests thus far but will be kicking himself that it is not two points after throwing away a 6-3 lead over Rob Thornton last week with the match ending level. He is not cut adrift yet being just one point behind the likes of Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock but a win over Lewis is a must.
Jackpot is in an even worse position that the Warrior having lost all three of his opening bouts and being sat on a very disappointing -11 leg average. He can still be backed at 5/4 for relegation which looks a very tempting bout given his woeful form and given that a loss on Thursday would leave him in serious trouble of even getting off the bottom of the table.
There is little to suggest that Lewis can turn this around that is how poor he has been, so of the two men it would be Newton who I would back at a very generous 9/5 with Boyle Sports. However, what may be a better bet, given how nervous both men will be, is under 5.5 180s which is available at 6/5 with Bwin. They have managed 15 between them so far in the tournament so certainly haven’t been overly impressive in that field. As mentioned the nerves will be jangling as well so it could end up being a fairly low quality affair.
The final match of the night in Exeter should be a lot more spectator-friendly as Simon Whitlock takes on Raymond van Barneveld. Both were on the wrong end of disappointingly heavy defeat last week and will be looking to bounce back with Barney hoping to consolidate his place in the top four and Whitlock knowing that another loss could well leave him in the bottom two.
Both played well in defeat in week three but especially Whitlock who averaged nearly 102 in his 7-2 loss to an on-song Taylor. If he can do that again then he will beat the Dutchman and although I don’t think he will manage that kind of scoring again, I do fancy him to beat Barney.
Along with Taylor and Van Gerwen it is these two men who I expect to make up the final four so a draw would not be out of the question here, but of the two Whitlock looks a better bet at 15/8 with Ladbrokes. Of their six previous Premier League battles Whitlock has won four and lost just one so he looks a great price to keep up this great record.
Adrian Lewis v Wes Newton under 5.5 180s @ 6/5 with Bwin
Simon Whitlock to win @ 15/8 with Ladbrokes
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