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Fourteen weeks after we started in Newcastle the league stage of the 2017 Premier League Darts is set to come to a close in Aberdeen.
Michael Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson have all sealed their places at the 02 in London next week with the final spot almost sewn up as well.
Phil Taylor, in his final Premier League campaign, looks set to claim the last place, with only Dave Chisnall able to stop him.
In the open fixture of the night Chisnall faces James Wade, knowing he has to win to have any chance of qualifying. For Chizzy to finish fourth he needs to win, Taylor has to lose and he has to overturn a ten leg difference.
Chisnall has been in fantastic form recently, unbeaten in his last five Premier League games, a run which has lifted him from bottom of the table to fifth. He also had darts to beat Van Gerwen and Anderson before drawing both matches. He will fancy his chances against the Machine who after a strong first phase to the league has looked out of sorts recently.
Taylor may have already qualified by the time he takes to the Scottish stage, but if not he has to get passed his friend and long time rival Adrian Lewis. If he avoids defeat Taylor will keep alive hopes of the fairy tale ending at the O2. Even a 7-4 defeat would seal the qualifying spot for the Power who has won the Premier League title four times. He has put himself into a great position by producing one of the performances of this seasons competition by crushing an out of sorts Van Gerwen last week.
At times Taylor has looked a different player from week-to-week, which is not surprising due to him easing off his schedule. However, last week he showed he has got that top level performance still in him and he could be the one lifting the trophy in London.
Away from the battle for fourth there is also a surprising fight for top spot. Michael Van Gerwen has been top of the table for the majority of the campaign, and still is, but Peter Wright still has a chance at claiming the lucrative top spot. After never reaching the finals night before he sealed his place at the O2 two weeks ago and a lot of people will fancy him to lift a second major trophy after claiming the UK Open earlier this year. He faces Raymond Van Barneveld who has fallen away in recent weeks, having been in contention for a top four spot throughout. It all points towards a win for Snakebite to pile on the pressure on Van Gerwen in the last match of the night.
Van Gerwen is always striving to be number one and he will not want to finish the league phase in second place. He has now only won two of his last five Premier League games and in one of them had to come from behind to steal a point against Chisnall. Last week he never got going against Taylor who just wanted it more and he suffered another set back at the weekend. He reached the final of the European Darts Grand Prix in Germany but was crushed 6-0 at the hands of Wright, as he continued to his fantastic year.
However, despite this loss a win on Thursday would seal top spot for MVG and a meeting with Taylor/Chisnall in the semi-final. There is only one problem, though, the man he has to beat, Gary Anderson. With the Scottish crowd behind him Anderson is sure to love the opportunity to heap more misery on Van Gerwen. After qualifying last week Anderson is in the great position of having no pressure on him and this could work to his advantage. If he does beat the world number one he is likely to face the same man again in the semi-finals at the O2
Chisnall 7-4 Wade
Taylor 7-5 Lewis
Wright 7-2 Van Barneveld
Van Gerwen 5-7 Anderson
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