It was Phil Taylor’s night in Sheffield as he registered two victories to move three points clear at the top of the table.
Michael van Gerwen sits in second after a win over Robert Thornton, while Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright played out a scrappy draw.
Belfast is the venue this week, with the action being contested in the SSE Arena.
Peter Wright vs Robert Thornton
Peter Wright had multiple match darts to beat an under par Adrian Lewis last week, and will rue letting his opponent sneak a point.
‘Snakebite’ has dropped down to sixth in the standings, and although he is only two points off the top four, he is finding victories hard to come by, winning only one of his last seven in the Premier League.
Wright wasn’t firing on all cylinders himself, averaging only 93.43, and taking 6/18 on the doubles.
He will be confident of getting something here against a man he hasn’t lost to since early 2013, but Thornton is starting to find some form.
Although he went down 7-5 to Michael van Gerwen last week, ‘The Thorn’ averaged 104.23 and was 71% on doubles in a resilient display which would have been good enough to beat anyone other than MvG.
These two contested a draw in Aberdeen, but I’m going to opt for Wright to get the win in a closely contested match.
My Pick: Peter Wright
Phil Taylor vs Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor couldn’t have wished for a better night in Sheffield, beating Gary Anderson and James Wade.
Those results mean that Taylor now hasn’t been beaten since the first week of the tournament, with that defeat at the hands of this weeks opponent, Raymond van Barneveld.
‘The Power’ averaged 99.31 against Anderson, winning four legs in a row from 3-3 to record his 35th win over the Scot.
His 7-4 win over James Wade was more of a struggle, averaging only 92.91 and 30% checkout success.
Raymond van Barneveld’s chances of reaching the playoffs are all but gone after his 7-4 lose to Wade, with his inaccuracy on the doubles being his downfall.
‘Barney’ hasn’t had much success against his foe in the past, winning only 16 of their 74 meetings, along with four draws.
Taylor is determined to still be top of the table come the O2, and will also want to get the first week defeat back in Belfast.
I see him doing just that with Barney’s inefficiency on the doubles hindering him again.
My Pick: Phil Taylor
Adrian Lewis vs James Wade
Adrian Lewis will be very disappointed with his display last week, averaging only 88.68, and was lucky to get a point. Giving the way Lewis ran off the stage, this performance can be put down to the 31 year old feeling below the weather.
‘Jackpot’ still occupies fourth position, and this may well be a big game in determining who reaches the O2, with James Wade level on points.
Lewis has stated his desire to reach the playoffs of the Premier League, a tournament he hasn’t shown his best form in over the years.
Wade will also have carried some disappointment out of the Sheffield Arena after losing his second match to Taylor, averaging only 91.5.
‘The Machine’ will look back on his efficient display against van Barneveld with more pleasure, his 64% checkout success the difference.
Lewis got the victory over Wade in Aberdeen, and I predict history repeating itself with the Stoke native pulling clear in the playoff positions.
My Pick: Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson
This is a match that will really get the crowd going, with two of the best players in the world contesting.
Van Gerwen produced an average of 117.95, the second highest ever, in his 7-5 win over Thornton.
The Dutchman had an array of chances to win the match at an earlier stage, but finished with 18 scores of 140+ to secure victory.
‘Mighty Mike’ reached all three finals over the weekend at the Players Championships in Barnsley, winning one and taking the runner up spot twice.
Gary Anderson’s seven match unbeaten record came to a crashing halt last week in his defeat to Taylor, were the Scot averaged 92.83.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ seemed to go off the boil with the match poised at 3-3, allowing Taylor to storm ahead and take the two points.
Anderson hasn’t lost to anyone other than van Gerwen and Taylor in this years competition, and sits in third place, only two points off this weeks opponent, making it an important one for the Scot.
It is hard to back against Michael van Gerwen and giving that he has won the last three between the two, most recently at the weekend, I am going to side with the world number one.
My Pick: Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld vs Robert Thornton
The bottom return to the stage in the last match of the night, and both are really playing for pride at this stage.
They sit six and nine points off the playoffs respectively before the action gets underway in Belfast, and that gap will likely prove to tough a challenge to overcome.
The Dutchman has the advantage in their head to head, winning 10 of 13, including his 7-5 victory when they met in Dublin.
This will be a tight match, but giving Barney’s success in the past against the Scot, I will side with van Barneveld to get the win.
My Pick: Raymond van Barneveld