Anderson and Taylor can secure last play-off places
There are now just two more rounds of fixtures to go in the 2017 Premier League until the play-offs are decided, and Week 14 is not to be missed with potentially a final ever official meeting between Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor the highlight of the night in Sheffield.
Fans at the Yorkshire venue are also treated to three more battles before, as all eight players are still in with a chance of finishing in the top four.
Peter Wright, who has already ensured his ticket to the O2 Arena on May 18, takes on Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall face each other in a likely win or bust clash, while Gary Anderson can secure a play-off place too by beating James Wade.
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
Snakebite still has an outside chance of finishing top of the table, and claiming the £25,000 bonus, but has to win his last two matches and hope that Van Gerwen loses both.
Even if that may now seem out of reach, he’ll certainly give it his all – as he always does – and will relish facing Lewis, who he’s beaten in each of their last four meetings.
Wright also comes into this duel in great form, having recently won the German Open, before reaching the Players Championship 10 final and hitting a nine-darter along the way.
Jackpot will have to rely on his overall 17-12 win record over Snakebite, and Week 11’s nine-dart hero will need a first victory over the Scot since the World Matchplay last summer if he’s to stand a chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
The loser of this match-up will likely be out of play-off contention – particularly Chisnall who sits a point behind the fifth-placed Dutchman.
Barney and Chizzy have enjoyed a win apiece over the other this year, in The Masters and Premier League respectively, and it is the latter that goes into this clash in the better form.
The Englishman came back from the dead to go on a five-match unbeaten run in this competition and now just two points off the top four.
Van Barneveld, on the other hand, has lost his last three, but you can never count out the legendary Dutchman, who’ll surely have one or two more magical performances left in him this PL campaign.
A draw could be on the cards.
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Anderson can all-but secure his place at the O2 Arena with a win over Wade, as he looks to reclaim the Premier League title.
The Flying Scotsman has not been at his best this year, but may have peaked at the right time of the PL season after most recently defeating Wright in the Players Championship 10 final, and playing some top darts along the way.
He’s undefeated against Wade in their last four meetings, but drew to him in Week 4.
Two more wins may not even be enough for Wade to qualify, but his quotes below suggest that he’s practically given up hope.
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Darts’ two best players in history, in terms of ability, have faced off 57 times since Taylor beat a young Van Gerwen way back in 2006, at a Players Championship event in Holland.
But this may be their final ever meeting, in official tournaments anyway, as The Power seems certain to retire this time after the PDC 2018 World Championship.
Taylor has shown this year that he still has what it takes to beat the best and win tournaments, but his desire and ruthlessness is certainly fading.
Recent comments from MvG suggesting the all-time great should’ve retired two years ago may fire The Power up for one last determined showdown to finish on a high against the deadly Dutchman.
With three wins in his last four tussles with Van Gerwen, Taylor can certainly trouble the young pretender and can also secure a top four berth if other results go his way.
Get ready for this one, with sparks set to fly!
Check out what some of the stars in Sheffield have to say ahead of Week 14…
Wright: “I’ve got two games to play and I want to take four points and push Michael for that top spot. I’m looking to finish top and I’ve been working hard on the practice board to get myself ready for this.
“I’m looking forward to it because Adrian’s a fantastic player and he showed with his nine-darter a few weeks ago how good he can be.”
Chisnall: “I’m still in with a shout and I’ll prepare myself like I have for the last few weeks.
“If I could have started the league like I’m ending it I’d probably be top, but I still think I can get through. Raymond’s a great player so I’ll just keep playing my own game and hopefully I can keep getting the results.”
Anderson: “I’m playing okay and I’m happy with where I am in the table but obviously I want to win on Thursday and make sure I get in the play-offs.
“It’s tight in the table and every point’s crucial. I’m looking forward to the last couple of weeks because James is still fighting and he’ll be up for it, but so will I.”
Wade: “I am where I am in the table but it might be too late now. There’s a chance but you should never leave it this late or put yourself in this position.
“I started the season okay and it hasn’t gone so well in the latter stages, but there are no excuses.
“I want to be an inconvenience to the other players who need the points, and if I can get two wins then that’s great. The standard has been spectacular this season and the lads are giving the crowds something special to watch.”
Van Gerwen: “I’m feeling great and it’s good that I qualified, but I want to make sure I finish top of the table so I want to keep my form going.
“I know if I win I will finish top so I’m aiming for that against Phil. It’s never easy against him but I’m confident and playing well.”
Taylor: “Getting into the top four has been the target all season and it would be great if I can make it into the semi-finals.
“Even though I’m fourth it’s really tight, so I’ve just got to try and get the result against Michael. I love playing against him and it should be another good match.”
1/2 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Peter Wright
11/2 Gary Anderson
20/1 Phil Taylor
33/1 Raymond van Barneveld
80/1 Adrian Lewis
100/1 Dave Chisnall
250/1 James Wade
Week 14 match betting
8/11 Peter Wright
3/1 Adrian Lewis
13/10 Raymond van Barneveld
6/4 Dave Chisnall
4/1 James Wade
8/15 Gary Anderson
1/3 Michael van Gerwen
11/2 Phil Taylor
Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Odds subject to fluctuation.
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