Whitlock is back in form
Things get very difficult to predict when it comes to players who are returning to the stage having already competed earlier in the evening, but when it comes to Andy Hamilton you are fairly sure what you are going to get from him.
Win or lose to Phil Taylor first up, the Hammer will still put in a solid performance when he returns to face Simon Whitlock in the fourth match of the evening in Dublin. Whitlock’s form appeared to be in the doldrums until he rallied to beat Robert Thornton last week in Sheffield and then went on to win Saturday’s UK Open qualifier in Wigan meaning he will be raring to go for this one.
Their last contest was a pretty turgid affair which saw Hamilton prosper but neither were at their best and there is a feeling that the Wizard may well be ready to get somewhere near his peak at this stage of the competition after a disappointing start.
If Whitlock does that then he will win this one and at 23/20 with Sportingbet he is a pretty good price to claim back-to-back victories. It would not be a major surprise if Hamilton were to pinch this one but the Wizard is good value.
Then it’s the match that we always hype up to be the biggest and best in the competition, but in reality is rarely more than a bit of a damp squib. Phil Taylor playing Raymond van Barneveld will always be remembered as one of the greatest matches in World Championship history but rarely have they put on much of a show in the Premier League. The blame for this lies solely at the feet of Barney who, despite often being in great form going into these clashes, just doesn’t turn up against the Power. In fact, since their first ever meeting in the tournament in 2006 which ended in a draw, Taylor has won every single contest, many of which by a considerable margin.
Again Barney comes into this one in very good form, much better form than Taylor and many will really fancy the Dutchman at a tempting price of 9/4 with Boylesports however, history tells us that it just is not going to happen. In their last 11 matches in this tournament, the closest the score line has been is 8-4 to Taylor and you can be pretty confident something similar will happen again, despite the disparity in form. Taylor to win with a -2.5 handicap is 6/4 with Sky Bet and that looksa very good price indeed.
The organisation of the evening in Dublin is a little odd as by the time Adrian Lewis takes to the stage for the first time in the final match of the night, three men have already competed twice. Nevertheless Jackpot will turn up and face Michael van Gerwen in a game he must win to have any chance of making the semi-finals.
In a largely forgettable campaign thus far his win over MVG in Nottingham has been one of the few moments to remember for Lewis so far, however, there is little to suggest he will manage the feat again. He was pretty abject in defeat to James Wade last week and lost his first match in both UK Open qualifiers at the weekend.
It is no surprise that MVG is strong favourite for this one at a best price of 8/13 with Sky Bet and to be honest it is not easy to squeeze too much value out of this one. It isn’t going to make you rich but I would take the 10/11 on Van Gerwen to be ahead after six legs with Sky Bet.
Simon Whitlock to win @ 23/20 with Sporting Bet
Phil Taylor (-2.5) to win @ 6/4 with Sky Bet
Michael van Gerwen to lead after six legs 10/11 with Sky Bet
• 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
• MVG can hurt Taylor semi-final chances
• Hammer and Barney set for another tight one
• In form Newton to keep winning
• Whitlock and MVG value for big finish