A preview for tonight
The darting Gods have bestowed Judgement Day upon us, with Kim Huybrechts and Peter Wright suffering its wrath. It felt like an inevitability for Huybrechts, who had never really found a foothold in his Premier League debut. Wright, however, must feel bitterly disappointed, losing out in dramatic fashion last Thursday.
But alas, as Queen aptly states, the show must go on. Sheffield will welcome the 8 survivors, 5 of whom are separated by a measly 3 points, to battle it out for a place in the elusive final 4. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.
Adrian Lewis and James Wade kick off proceedings, with the former lucky to be in the tournament at all. Ady will feel confident going into this match after his 6-0 thrashing of the Machine in Germany on Monday, but Wade has a penchant for showing up when it matters most. A win for Wade will consolidate his tenuous position in the top 4, but against a Lewis who seems to be finding his form, this is easier said then done.
Our Prediction: Adrian Lewis 7 - 4 James Wade
Gary Anderson and Dave Chisnall take to the stage next - an intriguing fixture that, barring a draw, will force some daylight between the two players in second and third place. Dave Chisnall has been defiant in this tournament so far. What seemed like beginners luck in the early stages has quickly become regular form, and Chizzy has made the top 4 house his home. Anderson is the bookies favourite, of course, but Chisnall remains one of only two players that The Flying Scotsman has failed to get at least a point off. I don’t expect Chisnall to beat him 7-2 this time, but expect a close-fought match with plenty of 180’s.
Our Prediction: Gary Anderson 7 - 5 Dave Chisnall
The last time Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld met, it was in one of the most enthralling Premier League matches we’ve ever seen. Taylor, who finished on 115 average and hit 9 180’s, lost 7-4 to the stubborn Dutchman, who produced a not-too-shabby 105 average to emerge victorious against his long-time rival. Taylor, of course, will not want a repeat of last time. Averages are all well and good, but he would have preferred the two points, and I feel as though he might get them this time round. This is despite some outstanding displays from Barney, including the 6-6 draw with Gary Anderson last week to ensure his Premier League survival. He has a penchant for finding points in the most unlikely of places, but Taylor has a point to prove, and I think he’ll prove it tonight.
Our Prediction: Phil Taylor 7 - 3 Raymond van Barneveld
Many tipped Stephen Bunting to be among the first to crash out of this tournament, and those prophecies seemed to be coming true when The Bullet sat at the bottom of the table after the close of play on week 4. The tables have certainly turned for the Peter Griffin doppelganger, however, who now resides in 6th place, just two points behind the little-known Phil Taylor. He has more than asserted his right to be in this tournament, and a win today would certainly keep him within reach of a place on finals night. Unfortunately for Bunting, he plays the seemingly unbeatable Michael van Gerwen, who last weekend added to his 2015 trophy pile with another European Tour win in Germany. The number 1 seed doesn’t just want to win the Premier League, he wants to do it without losing a match. And you know what? He just might.
Our Prediction: Stephen Bunting 2 - 7 Michael van Gerwen
Dave Chisnall and James Wade return to the stage once again to close proceedings tonight. Playing two matches in one evening is usually beneficial over short formats, and I think we’re in for a high quality encounter between these two. A lot of Chisnall’s performance will depend on the outcome of his earlier match against the current world champion. A bad performance in that fixture will probably plague him in this one. James Wade, meanwhile, is called "The Machine” for a reason. His consistency is why he’s currently in the top 4, and I can’t imagine a defeat to Adrian Lewis would set him in particularly bad stead. If Chizzy comes out on top against Anderson, however, then you’ve got to fancy him in this closing match as well.
Our Prediction: Dave Chisnall 4 - 7 James Wade