Taylor v Whitlock: Wizard to break Power duck
Adrian Lewis convincingly expunged Phil Taylor’s unbeaten record in this year’s Premier League last week as Jackpot came from 4-1 down to beat the league leader. Can The Power bounce back at the first time of asking? Or has Lewis exposed some vulnerability in Taylor’s game?
Simon Whitlock hasn’t beaten Taylor on the big stage since switching to the PDC from the BDO. But with his own position in the semi-finals of the Premier League looking fairly secure, and Taylor’s form dipping, the Aussie may have his best opportunity yet when the pair meet in Liverpool this Thursday.
Lewis wasn’t anywhere near his best last week, and didn’t need to be to beat a Phil Taylor that looked a shadow – albeit still an imposing shadow – of the player that had been posting three-dart averages circa 110 for the best part of the last 10 weeks.
The Power chucked a record-breaking 117.35 average in beating Whitlock earlier in this campaign, but was at a considerably lower 98.85 in defeat to Lewis last week – his lowest return of the tournament so far.
Averages, of course, aren’t everything in darts, but they are a good indicator. And in this case I believe they accurately reflect a few blemishes that have crept into Taylor’s usually immaculate game in recent weeks.
Whitlock didn’t fire on all cylinders to beat Barney last week, and I also continue to harbour concerns about his ability to close out the win in big matches. But, given that there isn’t a great deal on the line for either player in this match, The Wizard should be bale to play with a greater freedom than he usually does against Taylor.
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• Barney v Hamilton: No room for error
• Wade v Painter: Machine to reboot
• Taylor v Lewis: Jackpot thrives on big games
• Wade v Hamilton: Time is running out
• Barney v Whitlock: Momentum is with Dutchman
• Anderson v Painter: Win or bust
• Anderson 33/1 to defend Premier League crown
• Taylor v Barney: Still a spectacle to behold
• Wade v Anderson: In-form Machine is the only bet
• Whitlock v Painter: Wizard seeks revenge
• Hamilton v Taylor: Another handicap win for Power
• Whitlock v Anderson: Wizard to show bouncebackability
• Lewis v Wade: Rivalries renewed
• Painter v Van Barneveld: Barney to land the 180 odds