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Jackpot and MVG to continue setting the pace in Belfast

| 20.02.2014

The Premier League table has an unfamiliar look as week 3 beckons with six-time champion Phil Taylor sharing bottom place with 2012 finalist Simon Whitlock. Here is a preview of all the night’s games from Belfast with a £10 fivefold paying out at £420.

Gary Anderson to beat Robert Thornton @ Evens

Robert Thornton will be devastated that he has nothing to show from his two matches so far, having gone down 7-5 in both games.

The Thorn will feel he needs to get his first points in week 3 but that pressure could work against him in this all-Scottish clash with a rejuvenated Gary Anderson in his way.

The popular landlord was awesome in every department against Simon Whitlock last week, barely missing a double and nearly breaking the 3-dart 100 average.

A similar performance would almost certainly be enough here as despite losing five of his last six against Thornton his opponent will understandably be haunted by the opportunities missed in previous weeks.

Michael van Gerwen to beat Dave Chisnall @ 4/11

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen has shown both sides of his game in the opening weeks of this year’s edition of the Premier League; inflicting an electrifying whitewash of Phil Taylor and battling to a 7-5 victory over Robert Thornton.

Dave Chisnall is one of only four players without a defeat to their name so far following a win over Thornton in the first week and a draw with Peter Wright last time, however, this marks a significant rise in challenge and one that is probably beyond the St Helens man.

This format is tailor-made for MVG’s power-packed game and although the odds are short they fairly reflect the different levels the two are operating at.

Peter Wright v Phil Taylor – To Draw @ 9/2

Six-time Premier League winner Phil Taylor sits joint-bottom of the table going into week 3 and the Power will be desperate to get his campaign back on track at the expense of the unbeaten Peter Wright.

In their seven previous meetings Snakebite has walked away empty-handed, however, this year’s World Championship finalist has been one of the standout players of the last 12 months and cannot be discounted.

Some perspective is required when analysing Taylor’s defeats as although he was far from his best both of his losses have come against World Champions Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis in full flight.

However, the 4/7 available still doesn’t appeal and it may be worth having a small investment on the points being shared at 9/2.

Taylor is still odds-on to qualify for the semi-finals and it is a matter of when not if he starts picking up some wins. Wright though has become a serious proposition – despite his attire – and can give further evidence that his stay at dart’s top-table is not to be a fleeting one.

Adrian Lewis to beat Wes Newton @ 2/5

Adrian Lewis compounded Taylor’s misery in week 2 with a merciless display that nearly threatened to hand the 16-time World Champion a second whitewash in as many games.

Although that failed to materialise Jackpot showed he is in the mood this year and not willing to fall foul of the slow starts that have hampered his progress in previous years.

Wes Newton recorded a surprise win against Raymond van Barneveld last week but it would be a shock if he was able to repeat the trick here considering his record in the competition and the fact that he has lost his last two against the Stoke thrower.

Raymond van Barneveld to beat Simon Whitlock @ Evens

Van Barneveld was rocked last week after letting a lead slip against Wes Newton to end up suffering his first defeat of the campaign but the ever-popular Dutchman can get back on track against an out-of-sorts Simon Whitlock.

The Australian props up the table alongside Taylor and has looked a shadow of the man that has been a regular feature at the right end of the standings over recent years and ran Taylor so close in the final two years ago.

The Wizard cannot call upon recent history with his opponent for any encouragement either with Barney winning five of their last six, a trend that looks set to continue.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster