Phil Taylor fought back from 5-1 down to earn a draw with Michael van Gerwen last week.

Take the Price on Taylor in Premier League Darts

Phil Taylor fought back from 5-1 down to earn a draw with Michael van Gerwen last week.

The battle to avoid elimination from the Premier League steps up a notch this week, with a number of crucial matches just a week ahead of Judgement Night. The world’s finest will visit the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Thursday night, and the likes of Robert Thornton, Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall are running out of chances to steer clear of finishing in the bottom two and exiting the league at the first hurdle.

Thornton faces a crucial night in which he faces two matches to complete his game in hand. He will take on Premier League newcomer Michael Smith first off, before a massive clash with Michael van Gerwen later in the evening. With just a single point from his six games so far this season, Thornton has an uphill battle to pull himself out of trouble. Michael Smith has gained three points so far after drawing with Chisnall and beating van Barneveld, but with a Judgement Night bout against Phil Taylor to come, he will know that his best chance of securing points is in this week’s game. Dave Chisnall also sits on three points after a disappointing season in comparison to his efforts last year when he qualified for the play-offs with ease. He faces a tough tie with Gary Anderson to try and pull away from the bottom before he meets Peter Wright next week.

At the other end of the table Phil Taylor has the opportunity to cement his place in the top four with a win over Wright on Thursday night, and the Power is our headline pick after his excellent return to form this season.

Night Seven Drama

He pulled off the performance of the night in the end last week after falling 5-1 behind to Michael van Gerwen in their titanic clash. Taylor had already won five of six matches before last week’s game, and the battle back to draw 6-6 will have felt like a victory. He posted a 103.12 average and hit 6/10 checkouts to maintain his position joint top of the table with the Dutchman.

Gary Anderson was the big winner of the night with a double success over Adrian Lewis (7-4) and Peter Wright (7-5). That gave him four much-needed points to take him up to third in the table just a point behind the two leaders. James Wade secured another victory with a 7-4 success over Robert Thornton to keep him level-pegging with Anderson on 10 points, while Raymond van Barneveld also grabbed a crucial 7-4 win against Dave Chisnall to pull three points clear of the fight to avoid elimination.

Phil Taylor v Peter Wright

Taylor is a decent price at  -125  with BoyleSports and Coral to get the better of Peter Wright on Thursday night.

His form has been almost impeccable since the start of the Premier League season, with the 7-2 defeat to Raymond van Barneveld on opening night the only blot on his copybook. Since then he’s won five consecutive matches and claimed that very respectable draw with van Gerwen last week. The wins have included 7-1 defeats of James Wade and Adrian Lewis, along with a 7-0 whitewash of Robert Thornton, and the Power is hitting the mark again this season.

Wright has also been performing admirably, but since a double defeat at the hands of Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League (7-2) and the final of the UK Open (11-4), he’s lost his latest two Premier League matches to Adrian Lewis (7-3) and Gary Anderson (7-5). With seven points on the board he’s in little danger of elimination and will progress into the second half of the season, but he will find it tough on Thursday against a resurgent Phil Taylor.

Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall

Gary Anderson also looks a good bet at  -143  with Betfair to continue his good work against Dave Chisnall.

Anderson started this season slowly – perhaps as a hangover to his World Championship win – but after missing the first Premier League night through illness he came up against Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor in his first two matches and lost them both. Since then however he has been excellent at the oche, winning all five matches and moving up to third in the standings. He’s fancied to continue the winning thread by beating Chisnall.

Chizzy has only got three points at this stage and is in real danger of elimination. It doesn’t get any easier as he faces a tough match against Peter Wright on Judgement night next week, but the fact remains that he has lost all four games since he was held to a 6-6 draw by Michael Smith back in mid-February.

Michael Smith v Robert Thornton

We’re going to back Smith to get his second win of the season when he takes on Robert Thornton at  +110  with Paddy Power

The rising star of the game had a tough introduction to Premier League darts with defeats against Peter Wright and James Wade in his first two fixtures. He snatched his first point of the season in the aforementioned draw with Dave Chisnall, but the following week was on the end of that incredible record-breaking average by an imperious MVG, going down 7-1 overall. He bounced back the next week to beat van Barneveld 7-5 and get his first win in the Premier League, but fell foul of World Champion Anderson last week. This match presents him with a great opportunity to progress to the second half of the season, and he’s fancied to take his chance.

Nothing has gone right for Thornton this season back in the Premier League, and after missing night two with illness he’s been playing catch up ever since. To have any realistic chance of survival he’ll probably need to win two of his remaining three matches, but with van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis his last two opponents, there is no guarantee he will do so.

Tips Summary

Phil Taylor to beat Peter Wright
Thursday 24th March, 19:00 GMT Start
Odds:  -125

Gary Anderson to beat Dave Chisnall
Thursday 24th March, 19:00 GMT Start
Odds:  -143

Michael Smith to beat Robert Thornton
Thursday 24th March, 19:00 GMT Start
Odds:  +110

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