The Premier League field is down to 8 players following the elimination of Chisnall and Smith last Thursday and now all of the focus turns to the top of the table and the fight for a place in the top 4 and a place in the play-offs.
Last year Raymond van Barneveld came on strong in the final 7 matches with 6 wins and a draw to earn a place in the semi-finals, he will need another strong finish to this year’s campaign if he is to make the play-offs again. He trails Lewis (who is currently in 4th) by 5 points, Wade (5th place) by 4 points and Wright (6th place) by 3 points.
Can Barney do it again?
Here are some stats on van Barneveld’s performance over the last 3 seasons, since the league format changed in 2013 to elimination after 9 weeks and the final 7 matches just involving the 8 players left in the league
Overall in the final 7 games in the Premier League each season since 2013:
(Using data only for the players who are currently left in the 2016 Premier League).
- No player has won more matches than van Barneveld.
- No player has a higher win % than van Barneveld.
- No player has won more points than van Barneveld.
- No player has a higher points won per game average.
- No player has won more legs than van Barneveld.
- In the last 3 seasons he has averaged 11 (from a possible 14) points over his last 7 matches in the Premier League season.
This chart shows the number of points each player currently left in this year’s tournament has earned in their final 7 games in each of the last 3 years, with van Barneveld highlighted.
This next table shows the combined totals of each player’s record in matches 10 to 16 during the last 3 seasons. As you can see not every player has competed at this stage of the Premier League in every season so I have used the average points per game and the average points per season (for matches 10 to 16 only) as well as adding the match win percentage also.
As you can see from the table no other player can match the performance of van Barneveld over the past 3 years going down the final stretch in the league phase of the Premier League. Even van Gerwen who has finished top of the table on all 3 occasions hasn’t amassed as many wins as van Barneveld in the final 7 games of the last 3 PL seasons.
In total Barney has only lost 3 of a possible 21 matches, for those interested the defeats were against van Gerwen (twice) and Anderson.
The final chart shows how many points each player currently has in this year’s league and how many points on average they have won over the last 7 matches during the last 3 seasons of the Premier League. I have added the totals together to give a possible outcome if the players matched their average tally for the final 7 games during the rest of this campaign.
The numbers reveal that if these projections were to occur that van Barneveld would sneak into 4th place in the table and take a play-off spot and that we would have Taylor, van Gerwen and Anderson all tied on 23 points at the top of the league.
This isn’t an article saying that I expect all of this to happen but I think it shows you can’t write off another charge for the play-offs by van Barneveld.