Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor clash in what promises to be a great night in Rotterdam.
Robert Thornton v James Wade
This match is a dead rubber with James Wade joining Robert Thornton in elimination last week. Wade lost 7-1 for the 2nd week in a row, letting himself down on his doubles landing just one out of 12 (8%). It means he's now won just one of his last seven and has lost more than he's won in the Premier League making the 4/6 odds look a bit prohibitive with nothing riding on the match. Over the weekend in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, Wade beat Justin Pipe 6-2 before Gary Anderson defeated him by the same scoreline in round three. Robert Thornton once again put in a poor performance in his 7-1 defeat to Gary Anderson. He averaged just 90.40 and, like Wade, only landed one dart at a double (out of 8). He suffered the same fate as The Machine in Gibraltar, losing 6-5 to Dave Chisnall in round three after beating John Henderson by the same score in the 2nd round. Looking at their performance statistics, these two have the lowest 180 hit rates so it makes sense to side with under 5.5 180s. Wade has hit 33 in 161 legs (0.20 per-leg) and Thornton 32 in 103 legs (0.21 pl). Even if all 12 legs are played, these numbers suggest only 4.97 180s are to be expected.
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis put in an abject performance in his 7-2 defeat to Phil Taylor. He averaged only 94.11, hit zero 180s and checked out just two of his 11 attempts at a double (18%). It now means he's lost all five matches against the players above him by an aggregate score of 15-35. He missed the weekend's tournament for personal reasons. Gary Anderson picked up a comfortable 7-1 win over Thornton, averaging nearly almost 100, hitting three 180s with a 41% checkout rate. In Gibraltar, Anderson reached the quarter-finals before being edged out in a deciding leg by Kim Huybrechts. Anderson has won 15 of the last 20 meetings between these two, making the 5/6 on The Flying Scotsman attractive. He comfortably leads Lewis in every performance statistic and can repeat his Glasgow victory over Jackpot with a similar 7-4 scoreline.
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
The battle between 2nd and 1st for top-spot takes place in Michael van Gerwen's home country with the Dutchman requiring a point to claim the league. He produced another high quality performance in his 7-2 victory over Raymond van Barneveld last week averaging 107.93. He followed that up by retaining the Gibralter Darts Trophy with a tournament average of 102.94. Phil Taylor got back to winning ways with his 7-2 win over Lewis. However, he wasn't involved at the weekend having failed to qualify for the tournament earlier in the year. MVG has spoken constantly about wanting to finish top of the league as well as win in front of his home crowd and appears to relish the rivalry with Phil. He's played the better darts over the 14 weeks and leads Taylor in the three main performance statistics. His tournament average is 108.37 to The Power's 101.51, he's hit 58 180s to 41 and his checkout % is 51.04% in-comparison to 46.57%. He's a solid selection to win and we can boost his price to 5/4 by backing him to hit the most 180s as well. He hits a 180 every 0.37 legs (58 of 156) to Taylor's 0.27 legs (41 of 153) and missed match darts when they met in week 7 leading the 180 count 4-2. Overall The Green Machine has won 9 of their last 12 meetings since the beginning of last year.
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright kept his play-off hopes alive with his 7-1 win over Wade meaning he needs to overturn a 1pt and five leg deficit to make 4th spot. Over the weekend he missed a match dart losing a deciding leg in the quarter-finals to Ian White. Raymond van Barneveld averaged over 100 and hit five 180s but he still lost 7-2 to MVG. Again it could have been a different story if he had hit some key doubles. Peter Wright is not playing consistently with his current darts and of course could always switch yet again, so it makes sense to focus on a RVB related market. He covered his checkout line again last week, and with it again below 100, it makes sense to continue with it in front of his home fans with the pressure off. He's taken out a 99+ finish in 21 of his last 28 TV matches (75%) at an average of 114.