Wright: Chizzy’s got more talent than I have!

Wright Chisnall.jpg

Peter Wright has backed Dave Chisnall to return to top form and challenge for a Premier League play-off place, as the St Helen’s star prepares to face Gary Anderson at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Thursday evening.

Chisnall currently sits bottom of the Premier League pile on seven points and may need to win his remaining six matches to qualify for the play-offs. He ended a run of three successive defeats when he drew with Snakebite in Dublin last week, although he led 6-3 before Wright reeled off three straight legs to salvage a point.

Despite this, it was Chisnall’s best performance of the season thus far. The 2015 Premier League semi-finalist averaged 106.40, landed six maximums and converted 75% of his attempts at double to halt his losing run, and Wright believes the St Helen’s star is capable of challenging for a top-four spot.

The UK Open champion also paid tribute to Chizzy’s natural ability, claiming: “If Dave can get on a run in the Premier League in the next couple of games, he can get in the top four. We’ve got to watch out for him – he’s got more talent than I have; natural talent.”

“I work on mine for hours and hours because I want to be number one in the world, and I don’t know where Chizzy wants to be in his mind but we’ve got to watch out. He’s going to be a dangerous man from now on,” the world number three added.

Liverpool’s Echo Arena represents a ‘home match’ for Chisnall and he hopes the support of the Merseyside crowd can inspire him to his fourth victory of the campaign. “It’s special, it’s probably one of my favourites {venues} to go to.  “I’ll try to do what I did in Dublin and hopefully I get the two points.

“I’m trying and I’ll never write off being in the top four, but I’ve got to put games to bed. If I’m 6-3 up I’ve got to win them so I’ll work on that because I slacked off against Peter. My darts were straight, though, and that’s what I wanted – not going into the fives and ones. The 180s aren’t a problem – I can hit them when I’m playing really bad.

“For me it’s keeping the dart straight and keeping it fluent. When I played Michael van Gerwen I was just rushing, and I carried on at my own pace. Where Peter’s quite slow I played at his pace and it worked for me. I’m feeling great at the moment and playing a lot better than I have done,” the world number six added.

However, it’s also a significant night for second place Wright, as he prepares to take on the world’s top two players in a double-header that could decide his play-off bid. He begins the night with a clash against world number one Michael van Gerwen, before returning to play fellow countryman Gary Anderson in the final match of the evening.

Wright admitted: “It’s a big night for me. Every point is vital and you can’t relax. I’m playing pretty well and I’ve been putting so much work in this year and we’re all pushing forward. Everyone starts playing well now because the Play-Offs are in sight.”

Another crunch showdown in the play-off race sees a battle of the former world champions, as Adrian Lewis meet Raymond van Barneveld. Lewis has won four of his last five matches, whilst Van Barneveld has triumphed in five of his previous six, including wins over the world’s top two Van Gerwen and Anderson.

The five-time world champion claimed: “I’m playing well and to win five games out of six is amazing. I’m still there and I’m not giving up. You know there aren’t any easy matches now. Adrian’s head is right and at the moment he thinks he can win.”

Lewis is also in confident mood, insisting: “Every game’s different and I know if I turn up I’ve got a good chance, but I’ve had some belters with Raymond in the past. Everybody knows what’s at stake and everybody’s fighting for their life really. Gary knew I wasn’t going to be a walkover in Dublin and Raymond knows I’ll be after him.”

Thursday’s other tie sees Phil Taylor and James Wade face off in a repeat of their two previous Premier League finals. Taylor’s play-off ambitions were given a huge boost after his brilliant win over Van Barneveld last week, whilst Wade’s hopes are virtually over after his double-Dutch defeats to Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld in Dublin.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Betway Premier League
Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson

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