Premier League Darts- Finals Night Preview!

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The top-four players in world darts collide as the Premier League heads to London’s O2 Arena for finals night on Thursday May 19th. For the first time in Premier League history, the top ten players on the PDC Order of Merit were selected for the event, and it’s rather fitting that the four semi-finalists all comprise the top four in the world rankings.

World number one Michael van Gerwen takes on Adrian Lewis in the first semi-final, whilst six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor meets reigning champion Gary Anderson in the other semi-final clash. It’s set to be an explosive night of action in the capital!

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

For the fourth year in succession, Michael van Gerwen topped the league phase after edging out Phil Taylor 7-5 in Rotterdam. Taylor and MvG have been involved in a thrilling rivalry throughout this campaign, but the Dutchman has secured the psychological edge by clinching top spot.

Adrian Lewis confirmed his play-off spot with a thumping 7-2 win over Gary Anderson last week. Neither player was anywhere near their best, but that performance typified Lewis’ campaign. He produced the key shots at the right moments, which he must also do against ‘The Green Machine’ on Thursday.

Van Gerwen finished the campaign with an average of 107.93, whilst Lewis’ tournament average was 96.50. This disparity just illustrates the incredible standard Michael has operated at throughout the season. However, this is a one-off occasion and statistics are irrelevant, because we all know what Adrian Lewis is capable of producing.

However, their head-to-head record makes for interesting reading. In their last 11 meetings, Van Gerwen has won eight, Lewis two, whilst they’ve also shared the spoils on one occasion.

Lewis’ last victory over MvG came in last year’s Premier League group-phase, but Jackpot’s last knockout victory against Van Gerwen came in the 2013 Grand Slam of Darts. You can never discount Lewis due to his mercurial ability, but over a longer format, Van Gerwen has to be the favourite.

Prediction: Van Gerwen 10-6 Lewis

Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson

Twelve months ago, Phil Taylor missed out on qualifying for the Premier League play-offs for the first time in his career. This was a bitter pill to swallow for ‘The Power’, but he bounced back tremendously this year, and pushed Van Gerwen all the way in the battle for top spot.

Taylor’s reward for finishing second is a match-up against the world champion and reigning Premier League champion Gary Anderson, who finished the league phase in 3rd position for the second straight year. Is that a positive omen?

‘The Flying Scotsman’ hasn’t been at his best in this year’s competition, yet he still finished in third spot and secured his qualification a couple of weeks ago. That is testament to his quality and ability to win games when not playing at his very best.

Nevertheless, Anderson will have to produce the goods if he is to maintain his title defence. Taylor did the double over the world-champion in the league phase- beating him 7-4 in week three, and 7-3 in week ten. The Scot has lost 7 of his last 9 meetings against Taylor, and the 16-time world champion will be confident of continuing that trend.

Despite this, it must be said that people appear to be focusing purely on Van Gerwen and Taylor as contenders, which is farcical when you consider that Anderson is both the world champion and Premier League champion. Gary thrives on the big occasion, and if he can overcome Taylor, whose to say he will not repeat last year’s heroics?

Prediction: Taylor 10-9 Anderson

Who will claim the title?

Michael van Gerwen is 4/7 favourite with title-sponsor Betway to win his second Premier League title, and given the calibre of his opposition on Thursday, that just demonstrates the incredible performances he is delivering week-in week-out.

It is hard to overlook MvG and having topped the table in the previous two years without winning the title, it would be fitting if Michael claimed glory on this occasion. He will be favourite irrespective of his opponent, although he has been beaten in the final in the previous two years; by Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson respectively.

If Van Gerwen overcomes Lewis in the semi-finals, it will be fascinating to see whether the final proves to be a psychological stumbling block for ‘Mighty-Mike’. It is extremely tough to call, but I’m going to say that Michael van Gerwen will be crowned Premier League champion, after beating Phil Taylor 11-7 in the final.

Betway Premier League
Semi-Finals

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Best of 19 legs

Final
van Gerwen/Lewis v Taylor/Anderson
Best of 21 legs

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2 thoughts on “Premier League Darts- Finals Night Preview!

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  1. I sense that every time you made a prediction, you seem more favoring to a dutch player regardless of the form especially about RVB. I understand behind the MVG hype which is justified but have u ever been predicting a MVG lose in the last 3 years?? i dont think so.

    1. I have predicted MvG to lose in previous years mate. I haven’t predicted him to lose this year, but I’d say I’ve been justified as he’s unbeaten since week one. As I said, he could well lose tonight, but given his current form and the performances he is consistently producing, he is rightly favourite to win.

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