This Thursday two legends of Darts face off in what is all set to be a cracker. Raymond Van Barneveld v Phil Taylor, what more needs to be said. Two of the most decorated players in the history of the game meet yet again, as both look to improve on solid starts to their Premier League campaigns.
The Power and Barney have both won one, drawn one so far and have been impressive enough to show that they will be challenging for the top four spots. Taylor just about got a draw last week against James Wade and will be looking to get his own back on Barney who knocked him out of the World Championships this year. It will be close, it’s hard to predict draws in this game, but if I was going to I would pick this one.
The top two Scots in the world meet in another heavyweight clash as Gary Anderson faces Peter Wright. After Michael Van Gerwen, Anderson has been by far the best player in the world for the last couple of years and he has started his campaign with three points. Wright has been the most improved player in the world over the last few years, but against Anderson and Van Gerwen he has struggled to pick up victories on the big stage.
However, Wright will take confidence from his performance last weekend at the UK Open qualifiers in Wigan. He sealed his third win in six events on Sunday, beating Adrian Lewis in the final and all he needs is a TV title to cap off an incredible few years. However, Anderson is just too strong and in Leeds I expect him to outscore Wright and punish him when he gets the chances.
Lewis meets James Wade, as another two of the game’s elites continue their rivalry. Wade is joint top of the table with three points and was impressive against Taylor last week. Lewis on the other hand, despite dismantling Dave Chisnall has struggled for form for some time. If Wade plays like he has in the first two weeks he will beat Lewis.
Van Gerwen faces Jelle Klaasen, in an all Dutch clash. Klaasen, alongside Chisnall are the only two players without a point, but he faces the uphill challenge against the undoubted world number one. He hasn’t played badly so far, but he quickly could get caught adrift. Van Gerwen hasn’t done much in the last week, he just turned up for one event in Wigan, won it and hit two nine darters in a match, not a bad week for the world number one. Klaasen will keep going, but this one is a banker for those putting a bet on.
Finally, we have a crunch clash between Chisnall and Kym Huybrechts. They only have one point between them, which came when the Belgium drew with Barney last week. However, two of the players who are favourites to be relegated after week nine both need every point they can get and both won’t get a better chance. Whoever loses is going to be in an awful position even after week three. Huybrechts is in the better form of the two and Chisnall didn’t look good last week. Despite the other big match ups, this is the most important game of the week.
Van Barneveld 6-6 Taylor
Anderson 7-3 Wright
Lewis 4-7 Wade
Van Gerwen 7-2 Klaasen
Chisnall 5-7 Huybrechts