Premier League Darts hits Dublin tonight so here's a preview
The big beasts of the darts world are headed to Dublin for Round 8 of the Premier League in the O2. Here's what you can expect.
The 2014 season of Premier League Darts might be the closest one yet. After seven rounds only three points separate the top four while the other six players are all within three points of bottom dweller Simon Whitlock. The battle to avoid the drop this year will be sensational, and the action at the O2 oche will go a long way to deciding the finishing positions. After all, there is just one round to go after the Dublin leg, next week in Cardiff.
We'll start, obviously, with the final game of the night. Raymond van Barneveld, fresh from meeting his many fans at SportsWorld in Finglas the day before, will play his old nemesis Phil Taylor. The Power is having his most difficult season yet in the League. Having lost his first three matches, Taylor has picked up three wins and a defeat since, but six points leaves him in the relegation shake up, and it is incomprehensible to think that that six-time winner could be out of the competition in 2015.
Yet that could be the case, especially if Barney continues his fine form. Three wins, and three precious draws, have the Dutchman in third place going into Round 8, and another win will secure his spot near the top of the rankings. With his huge Dublin fan base behind him, we reckon Barney could put Taylor into even more trouble by the close of play.
Another compelling game will be the battle between Wes Newton and Whitlock. The Aussie is bottom, with three points, so he has to beat Newton to avoid the drop. But the English thrower is only one place above him, and defeat will sink him into a dire fight next week, especially if he loses the opening match of his double-header in Dublin against gary Anderson in the opening game. The quality of the Whitlock/Newton game may suffer a tad due to the pressure but for those of us watching from the crowd or on TV, it should be gripping.
And is if those two games were not good enough, the Dublin crowd will also see the top two battle it out for supremacy. World champion Michael van Gerwen, unsurprisingly, is leading the way with five wins and a draw so far this season. He leads Premier League debutant Peter Wright by just one leg in the leg difference column, so this should be an absolute cracker.
Snakebite Wright has been sensational in his first year, but does he have the skills, and the nerve, to beat the best player in the world right now?
Add in the clash between Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall and the O2 should be hopping tonight.