Anderson v Van Barneveld: Pressure free Scot a danger
The end of any league campaign can put matches into different perspectives and this Premier League is no different with Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld going into this match with very different mind-sets.
The Flying Scotsman is set to be the first reigning champ to be eliminated before the semi-final stage since the Premier League began in 2005, something he will be far from satisfied with and he will desperately want to avoid finishing in bottom place, which he currently occupies, a point behind debutants Andy Hamilton and Kevin Painter.
It has been a hit-and-miss campaign from Anderson to say the least but to find a positive for him, the second half of his last match against Adrian Lewis was superb and saw him sensationally storm back to pinch a draw.
If he can turn that flash of form into a run then he will be confident of victory, and obviously playing without much pressure on him is a benefit, especially for someone with the natural ability of the man formally known as Dream Boy.
There is a highly motivated five-time world champion standing in his way though and whilst the pressure is firmly on Barney, the added motivation might just push the Dutchman in the right direction.
Barney’s form over the second half of the league has been pretty disappointing having won just one of his last five games and that has cost him his place in the top four. He is still well in with a shout though, as he only trails Adrian Lewis and James Wade by a single point and the Machine has to face The Power this week.
I fancy a high quality game on Thursday because Anderson’s performance will pick up and Barney will be forced to keep up with him, as a result I expect a number of maximums to be scored.
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• Whitlock v Hamilton: Big price on Hammer