The 2017 Premier League of Darts comes down to the final week before the semi-finals and two men are still in the race for a spot at the O2 Arena.
Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall can both qualify as the fourth-placed competitor for the playoffs in London next week.
Taylor holds the advantage. He is currently in fourth, two points ahead of Chisnall. That means Chisnall must BEAT James Wade and Taylor lose to Adrian Lewis — and there must be a 10-leg swing in the results.
The darts betting odds are all on Taylor to progress. Even if he loses to Lewis it’s a tough task for Chisnall.
Here are the four fixtures for Thursday’s Premier League Darts 15 in Aberdeen.
Dave Chisnall v James Wade
Regardless of what happens to Taylor, Chisnall needs a win over Wade. Chizzy has greatly improved as this Premier League campaign has progressed and beat Wade 7-5 back in March in Exeter on a night where he had to play twice. Chisnall has not been this high in the Premier League table since Week 3 — one of two players still remaining to have not tasted the top four.
This should be Chisnall’s match to win but Wade is inconsistent. His volatile recent form reads WLWL. That's not good for darts betting fans. Back Chisnall to win here at 1.75 but don’t back a score. This could be tight. Chizzy needs to win 7-3 or better and that is a tough ask.
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Taylor can afford to lose 7-1 if Chisnall beats Wade 7-3. Should Chisnall stun Wade 7-0 then Taylor would have to win at least four legs to guarantee progression to the playoffs. But knowing Taylor he won’t be thinking of losing anyway. Lewis beat Taylor 7-4 on a night where both men threw below 99 averages in Week 6 in Glasgow. The result came midway through a four-match winless streak for Taylor but he has recovered well since.
Chisnall has thrown 58 maximums to Taylor’s 36 this tournament. But the latter wins for 100s and 140s hands down. That consistency at the oche will surely earn Taylor the legs he needs to see off Chisnall’s score. He is 1.80 to win and 4.40 to draw.
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
It’s a pity we have to say goodbye to Van Barneveld here but the Dutchman, as entertaining as he has been this tournament, has been woefully inconsistent. He clung on to Chisnall last Thursday in Sheffield and lost 7-5 when the Englishman went for broke and got what he deserved.
Van Barneveld has lost his last four matches. Even wining two of them would have put him in the driving seat for a playoff berth. But the Dutchman has slumped and is 1.67 to lose to Peter Wright, who has just about kept up with Michael van Gerwen all the way here.
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
It would have been nice to see this match when there was something riding on it. As it happens, with both men qualifying this could turn into an exhibition battle. Anderson and Van Gerwen drew 6-6 in Week 1 of the Premier League and a repeat score is priced at 4.50.
Both men will likely enjoy this fixture. It could be seen as a means of getting a psychological edge over the other, with the playoffs due to start next week. But in reality Anderson knows he can beat Van Gerwen and vice versa. These men will likely leave the showcase match for the final, assuming they both get there.