Birmingham fans in for a real treat
Every night in the Premier League special, but Birmingham darts fans in Week 13 are certainly lucky to be treated with a number of mouthwatering matches.
Perhaps the most in-form player in 2017 Peter Wright goes up against all-time great Phil Taylor, superstar crowd favourites Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson lock horns and double PDC world champions Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis round off what promises to be a fantastic evening.
On top of that, MvG and Jackpot battle earlier on in the session too, against a resurgent Dave Chisnall and 2009 PL champion James Wade respectively.
Just four more weeks remain until the play-offs on May 18, but there is still plenty to play for, with Van Gerwen aiming to secure top spot this Thursday, while it is mathematically possible for any of the eight remaining stars to finish in the top four.
Read on as Sam Barnard provides a Premier League Week 13 preview, in order of play…
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Quite simply, a loss for Wade against Lewis will mean he can’t make the play-offs.
The Machine will be able to take heart from the fact that he beat Jackpot 7-4 in Week 3 this year, but was defeated in their last meeting at the UK Open and has lost six of their last eight tussles.
Lewis could jump from sixth into the play-offs if results go his way, and his Premier League form is far more promising than Wade’s.
“It’s a massive night and I’m looking forward to it,” said Lewis, who later also plays Van Gerwen in Birmingham. “It’s so tight in the league but I know if I can win both games I’ll be in a really good position.
“I’ve been playing well and I know I can beat both James and Michael, but it’s up to me to go out there and do it on Thursday.”
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
Next up is Van Gerwen, who plays twice this week too, and the rapidly improved Chisnall.
Expect 180s galore in this match, with MvG gunning to secure first place for the fifth successive year (plus the £25,000 bonus) and Chizzy on a four-match unbeaten run to put himself back into play-off contention.
Mighty Mike has won each of his last 14 head-to-heads with the Englishman, but Chisnall should put in a better showing than his 7-1 loss to the Dutchman in Week 9.
“I always go into games against Michael full of confidence but I don’t know what happens with him, but I’m going to be doing my best,” said Chisnall.
“I’ve got three matches to go and there’s six points up for grabs, and if I can keep playing like I did in Belfast then I can pick up six points. I scored well last week but I also finished well too and took my chances.”
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
No one has been in higher confidence of late than Snakebite, and the Scotsman can finally finish in the play-offs with a win in Birmingham.
However, it just so happens that he takes on six-time Premier League champion Taylor, who has won both their meetings this year.
Surely recent 2017 German Open champion Wright can avoid another defeat, though?
“There are only three games left and I’m in a good position but it’s not over yet so I’ve got to carry on trying to win,” Snakebite said.
“Phil beat me last time we played, but I want to get him back this week. He’s so relaxed that he doesn’t care, and that’s why he’s dangerous now.
“He’s going to be a major threat to the title. He’s not rolling over because it’s his last year, he’s up there with the attitude to fight for every leg so hats off to him.”
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Barney finally stopped an 11-match losing streak against Anderson when he saw off the Scot in front of a partisan Dutch crowd in Week 7, and it’ll no doubt be another intriguing duel.
The duo are both on 14 points, with The Flying Scotsman just edging Van Barneveld out of the play-offs on leg-difference, so it could certainly go the distance.
Any result is possible in this match.
“It’s very hard to predict what will happen in this Premier League,” said Van Barneveld. “All I can do is think about my game and prepare as well as I can because the standard is so high.
“If I win my last three games then I will make the play-offs, and that’s what I’m aiming to do.”
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
To top off the evening, Lewis and Van Gerwen give the crowd one last spectacle to cheer about.
Jackpot knows he can cause Mighty Mike problems too, having beaten him in their last meeting at a Players Championship event this month, while they also drew in the Premier League earlier this year.
Again, anything can happen, but you’d have to fancy MvG to edge it.
“Four points is my target,” said Van Gerwen. “You never know what’s going to happen – Adrian is playing good darts at the moment and Dave played well last week, but I want to make sure I get four points and make sure I’m clear at the top of the table so no-one can catch me.
“I want to be top of the table and that’s where I am. I’ve done this for every year I’ve been in the Premier League and I want to keep it going.
“I’ve got to remain focused and I don’t want to make any mistakes, and it doesn’t look like I will because I’m playing really well. I’m playing always over the 100 average now so I’ve raised my game to a standard no-one has touched.
“I love to play well and perform really good, and that keeps me motivated. I feel good and I want to make the difference with these two games.”
4/9 Michael van Gerwen
5/1 Peter Wright
6/1 Gary Anderson
16/1 Phil Taylor
20/1 Raymond van Barneveld
33/1 Adrian Lewis
150/1 Dave Chisnall
250/1 James Wade
Week 13 match betting
5/2 James Wade
5/6 Adrian Lewis
13/2 Dave Chisnall
2/7 Michael van Gerwen
9/4 Phil Taylor
10/11 Peter Wright
5/6 Gary Anderson
5/2 Raymond van Barneveld
6/1 Adrian Lewis
30/100 Michael van Gerwen
Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Odds subject to fluctuation.
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