Wayne Mardle: Taylor to enjoy double delight in Birmingham

Taylor needs to be in fighting mood to win both his games tonight

It's week 12 in the Premier League and Phil Taylor appears twice as he attempts to get his playoff aspirations back on track. Wayne Mardle previews the action...

"The mental fatigue is clear to see but as I've already said I believe Taylor will handle it slighly better. And does The Power lose scrappy games? No!"

Back Taylor to win 7-4 @ 5.04/1

Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis

Even though he's not been at his best Phil is still the man to beat; and the fact that he needs to cement his place in the top four could spur The Power on to raise his game.

Lewis has been disappointing in this year's Premier League and will have to play at his best to get anything from this match; a loss will surely end his slim hopes of reaching the play-offs. With Taylor being the opposition I can see Lewis putting in an improved performance, but it still won't be enough to win.

Recommended Bet: Back Taylor to win 7-3 @ 6.25

Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen

I'm not pushing the boat out by predicting another Van Gerwen win but I cannot see any other outcome in this encounter. Whitlock has been inconsistent and a slight off night would see MVG run riot again. He's playing the darts of his life at the moment and it would be a nice 24th birthday present for him to pick up two points and cement his deserved place at the top of the Premier League table.

Recommended Bet: Back Michael van Gerwen to win @ 1.444/9

Robert Thornton v Andy Hamilton

This should be a close encounter and I'm not expecting anyone to run away with it that's for sure. Hamilton has gone off the boil at the wrong time, whilst Thornton has shown he can beat anyone and has been more consistent.

Matches between these two are normally very close so I wouldn't put anyone off backing 7-5 either way or even 6-6 in the Correct Score market, but I have a hunch that Thornton might just pinch it at the death.

Recommended Bet: Back Thornton to win @ 1.910/11

Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade

Possibly the match of the night, and at their best both players will think they've got the beating of the other. And thankfully for the viewers, both are playing well so this should be a great game.

You could say I'm sitting on the fence in selecting a draw but the truth is I can't call this game and the stalemate is just as likely as a win for either player, there's that little between them. So the fact that the draw is a much better price it makes sense to go for that option.

Recommended Bet: Back The Draw @ 4.57/2

Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock

Both players return to the oche for the second time on the night and the feeling is that Taylor, despite being older, is the more experienced in such situations. Having said that, I think we can expect a scrappy game that will be won by the player who makes the least mistakes.

Both have struggled when playing two games in one night. The mental fatigue is clear to see but as I've already said I believe Taylor will handle it slighly better. And does The Power lose scrappy games? No!

Recommended Bet: Back Taylor to win 7-4 @ 5.04/1

Adrian Lewis v Robert Thornton

This could be a make or break game for both players. Thornton needs the points to keep the pressure on the others for a place in the play-offs, while Lewis has to win to give himself any chance of getting to the 02 in London - especially if he's taken anything from his first game.

Thornton will handle the exhausting night better than the younger man in my opinion. Lewis is struggling for form, that is mentally tiring alone, while Thornton is playing well which gives you a much bigger spring in your step.

Recommended Bet: Back Thornton to win @ 2.255/4

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