The Premier League darts hits Brighton for week nine and plenty of issues are at stake at both ends of the table. Wayne Mardle talks us through each game
Two former winners of the Premier League collide in the evening's opener. Gary finished bottom last year and is nailed on to finish there again but the difference this year is that there is relegation. Anderson is simply not hitting doubles well enough, and at this level it's just not going to wash. Wade is playing like a man who knows he can win and I think he can win the whole thing if this form continues.
Recommended Bet: Wade to win at 1.664/6
Thornton is playing the darts of his career right now, but Taylor is great at bringing players down to earth. Robert will have to do something extraordinary to get anything from Phil, who is back to himself after going back to the darts he won the World Championship with. He never really looked comfortable with the new set and I wasn't surprised to see him revert back. The Thorn is playing with confidence but Taylor beat him twice on the big stage last year and should have too much on the night.
Recommended Bet: Taylor to win 7-4 at 5.04/1
Newton has to win handsomely to avoid being relegated, but if he loses a couple of early legs I think we may see his head drop and Andy could run riot. Hamilton is doing what Hamilton does: wins a few, loses a few. The only way for Wes to get anything from this is to lead after four legs, but I just don't think he will.
Recommended Bet: Hamilton to win 7-3 at 13.012/1
Whitlock is also in danger of the drop but, by the time he plays, he will know his fate. If Newton and Anderson both lose, the Wizard can afford to lose, but he'll want the points to push for a playoff place. Simon has played some very decent stuff; he's just been unfortunate to have walked into some stunning performances from the other guys. MVG, meanwhile, has been dishing out some pain over recent weeks and he'll want to inflict more on his stablemate. If he does, he'll be sitting pretty at the top of the league.
Recommended Bet: Van Gerwen to win 7-4 at 5.04/1
Lewis has to win to guarantee himself safety from the drop. Barney is going to be tough to beat though; he's averaging nearly 100 every week, while Adrian is struggling to find an average anywhere near that. Jackpot has shows signs of improvement, which is why he is only priced at a slight outsider, but he remains inconsistent so it's Barney to win for me, at a decent price.
Recommended Bet: Van Barneveld to win at 2.01/1
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