Week 14 of Premier League darts sees some of the world’s best players converge on Newcastle. Three of semi finalists have been decided, while Adrian Lewis is a strong favourite to join Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld in next week’s knockout stages. Simon Whitlock still harbours outside hopes of passing the world champion, but the Australian will need to beat Taylor and hope Anderson defeats Lewis. The Wizard will also have to overturn an eight leg difference.
Whitlock’s hopes of overcoming Taylor, however, seem remote. Taylor has not lost since week one and has consistently averaged comfortably over 100, while Whitlock’s form has been questionable in recent weeks. The Power even averaged a season high 109 against Wade in week 13 to end The Machine’s playoff hopes.
Whitlock’s draw with Mark Webster last week halted his three game losing streak, but it was a poor result against a player who has lost ten of his thirteen matches in the Premier League. Taylor qualified for the semi finals weeks ago, but doesn’t show any signs of letting up and his unmatched will to win and impressive form should see off the Australian.
Lewis can make Whitlock’s match irrelevant, however, if he draws with Gary Anderson in the night’s penultimate match. Anderson has been one of the Premier League’s shining lights, throwing 180s with ease and racking up colossal averages. The Flying Scotsman’s form, however, has dipped in the past two weeks, with Anderson losing to Taylor and Barneveld.
Lewis seemed to be on the verge of missing out on the semi finals in week 11 when he lost to Taylor, but Jackpot has reversed his fortunes with wins over Whitlock and Jenkins. Lewis only needs to draw to guarantee his position in the post season, but in reality, a narrow loss should be enough for the Stoke man. Anderson will be eager to rediscover early season form before next week’s semi finals and could sneak a narrow victory against Lewis.
James Wade can also draw equal on points with Lewis if he beats Terry Jenkins in the night’s opening encounter. The legs difference of 20, however, cannot be overcome. Wade has rediscovered some form during the Premier League, but two wins in the opening eight weeks left the Machine in a difficult position. Jenkins has never been in serious contention for a semi final place, but his form has picked up in recent weeks and The Bull will be hoping to end on a positive note. Wade beat Jenkins 8-6 earlier in the Premier League and the Machine is favourite to claim another narrow victory.
The second match sees Raymond van Barneveld and Mark Webster lock horns. Webster ended his eight match losing streak in week 13 with a draw against Simon Whitlock. The Welshman will be hoping to secure only his third victory of the Premier League tonight in Newcastle, but Barneveld has not lost since week 9 and is the strong favourite. Barney has already confirmed a semi final match-up with Anderson and might not be firing on all cylinders, but he should narrowly beat Webster.
James Wade vs Terry Jenkins: 8-5
Mark Webster vs Raymond van Barneveld: 5-8
Adrian Lewis vs Gary Anderson: 6-8
Phil Taylor vs Simon Whitlock: 8-4
888sport.com Match Odds:
James Wade 8/11, Draw 4/1, Terry Jenkins 21/10
Mark Webster 10/3, Draw 4/1, Raymond van Barneveld 1/2
Adrian Lewis 7/4, Draw 15/4, Gary Anderson 10/11
Phil Taylor 1/4, Draw 11/2, Simon Whitlock 6/1