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It’s over to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle for night two of Darts’ Premier League, and the season has already started with a bang after some superb tungsten action last week in Leeds. We saw a whitewash, a Premier League debut, and some shock results as the world’s top ten players embarked on the long campaign to be crowned the Premier League champion of 2016.
Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor both suffered defeats while former youth champion Michael Smith was given a harsh introduction to life at the top level with two defeats on the night. Gary Anderson had been ruled out through illness which led to Smith stepping up to play Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis in a double-header, but it was a night to forget as he was soundly beaten 7-2 by Wright and 7-1 by Lewis. MVG raced into a 3-leg lead against James Wade and looked to be heading for a routine victory, but Wade hit back with the next five legs to set himself up for a brilliant 7-4 win. Phil Taylor also fell by the wayside as Raymond van Barneveld produced a display of immense finishing to steal away with a 7-2 victory.
Our tips on Wright and Chisnall both secured a profit on the night, and there are plenty of betting opportunities this week in what is a very competitive set of fixtures.
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen is our first tip as he looks to bounce back from that uncharacteristic reverse. He’s a decent price at -120 with William Hill to beat Gary Anderson.
The Scotsman missed out last week after suffering from illness and fixtures have been amended so he can appear twice in week seven at Glasgow to fit in his game against Adrian Lewis. He face a tough task on his return to action this week in Newcastle, against a wounded Michael van Gerwen. The Dutch star said before the tournament he was targeting another first-placed finish in the Premier League, but his hopes were dealt an immediate blow when he went down to James Wade last week in Leeds. That will have focused the mind of the world number one and he is often at his most dangerous when he has a point to prove.
Anderson’s bout of illness came at the worst possible time – just as the Premier League season is getting underway – and that enforced absence may have unsettled his preparations. He’s stepping straight back in at the deep end with a match against Mighty Mike, and it is a tough assignment for the current world champion. His brilliant defence of the world title will live long in the memory, but there is always a danger that after the celebrations and the time out he will come back a little rusty.
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall
Chizzy did us a favour in the recent Unibet Masters, reaching the final at a big each-way price, and he gave us a profit last week too with his 7-0 whitewash of Robert Thornton. Such was Chisnall’s dominance that Thornton didn’t even have a shot at a double until he was 6-0 down, but he missed his chance at tops and Chisnall closed the door to complete just the sixth Premier League whitewash.
Adrian Lewis also produced a cracking performance in his only game of the night, beating newcomer Michael Smith 7-1 in the evening’s final game, winning six legs on the trot to take victory. He’s been back to something like his best lately after reaching the final of the World Championship, and will be a tough nut to crack. However, Chisnall beat the Jackpot twice in last season’s Premier League and doesn’t deserve to be the outsider for this clash.
James Wade v Phil Taylor
The left-hander played superbly to hold his nerve after going 3-0 down against van Gerwen, but the Dutchman missed several doubles to let Wade in. He took full advantage of those mistakes to run away with a 7-4 victory, but it could have been a very different story if van Gerwen had been on his game.
Taylor was the victim of some incredibly accurate darts from Raymond van Barneveld last week, with Barney hitting seven doubles from nine attempts to close out the match. The Power only achieved an average of 92.34 which wasn’t enough to put the required pressure on van Barneveld’s throws, but we would expect an improved performance this week as the former multiple Premier League champion looks to build again. He beat Wade twice in last season’s competition and at close to even odds is worth chancing to do so again.
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
Both players are in excellent form at the moment, and they have drawn their last two Premier League encounters. Barney was at his clinical best last week in the defeat of Phil Taylor while Wright was welcoming Michael Smith to the tournament with a comfortable 7-2 victory. Both are scoring well and both are hitting the out shots, and this one will certainly be tight. Small stakes are advised, but there could be a little bit of value in backing a stalemate in this one.
Michael van Gerwen to beat Gary Anderson
Thursday 11th February, 21:45 GMT
Dave Chisnall to beat Adrian Lewis
Thursday 11th February, 21:00 GMT
Phil Taylor to beat James Wade
Thursday 11th February, 22:30 GMT
Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright to Draw
Thursday 11th February, 20:10 GMT
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