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Thursday 31st March. 7PM. Sky Sports 1
After eight weeks of scintillating drama, the first phase of this year’s Premier League Darts tournament will come to a climax on week nine with the bottom two players leaving the competition.
This should make for a thrilling night at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena as all 10 players will be determined to end this stage on a high. The pressure is certainly on for three players at the bottom, and all five matches should be intensely exciting.
Let’s play darts.
Who Will Avoid The Early Exit?
Just one point separates the league’s three bottom players, but only one of the struggling trio will still remain in the competition after Thursday’s action.
After picking up three points from a double header last week, Robert Thornton has given himself a fantastic chance of survival. If the Thorn can overcome Adrian Lewis, his place in phase two will be confirmed, regardless of what either Michael Smith or Dave Chisnall do in their respective matches.
For Smith, defeat to Thornton means he enters week nine sitting rock bottom with just three points. Unfortunately for the Premier League debutant, a final match against Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor means that his chances of survival are even slimmer.
Chizzy may think that he has a slightly better chance against Peter Wright, but Snakebite could be particularly dangerous as he looks to boost his hopes of progressing towards finals night. Whatever happens, it should be a cracking scrap at the bottom.
Who Will Win Battle Of The Dutch Masters?
After last week’s disappointing draw against Thornton, Mighty Michael van Gerwin will be desperate to bounce back to winning ways to ensure that he ends phase one on top of the pile. However, compatriot Raymond van Barneveld will certainly want to push him all the way,
Barney might be safely through to the next phase, but the five-time world champion cannot afford to drop points if he wants to keep those hopes of a finals night appearance alive. The underdog may fancy his chances after sitting out of the German Masters, but MVG is unlikely to let the lack of rest impact his ability.
Arguably the game of the night sees defending champ Gary Anderson take on James Wade. The Machine lost to Joe Cullen in Munich on Sunday, but a win over the Flying Scotsman would almost certainly see him finish stage one sitting in the top four. For Anderson, a win could propel him to first place.
Whatever happens, it should be an incredible climax to a phenomenal first phase of the Premier League. You wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.
Premier League Darts: Week 9 Betting
The past fortnight hasn’t been overly productive on the betting front, but we’re still well in front over the tournament and will be looking to increase those profits with a couple of bets this Thursday.
Our first selection comes from the battle of the Dutch masters, and we’re expecting an explosive affair between these two greats. MVG is always a great shout to hit a high checkout, and we think he will clear the line again here. However, we’re taking the match option as it also gives us the hope of a big Barney checkout too.
We’re also hoping to take advantage of the Betfred acca insurance once more by turning £10 into over £250 with predictions on all five matches.
There’s already been one winner at odds of 36/1 this tournament, as well as a couple of refunds. Let’s hope to land another huge winner here.
MVG v Van Barneveld: Highest checkout Over 119.5 @ 5/6 with SkyBet
Wright, MVG, Taylor, Anderson, Draw (Thornton V Lewis) @ 24.64/1 with Betfred