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Whitlock ready to show his class in must win clash

| 20.03.2014

Week 6 of the Premier League rolls into Leeds with debutant Peter Wright the only player to arrive at the First Direct Arena with his unbeaten record intact. Six-time winner Phil Taylor picked up only his second win of the campaign last week and will fancy his chances of making the semi-finals with another victory tonight. Below are previews of all five of the night’s matches with the accumulator paying out a handsome £796.25 to a £10 stake.

Simon Whitlock to beat Dave Chisnall @ 6/4

After a promising start Dave Chisnall’s Premier League debut season is threatening to turn into disaster with only draws to his name since an opening week triumph.

However, the 33-year-old doesn’t have to look further than his opponent, Simon Whitlock, to be reminded it could be a lot worse.

The Wizard looked like he may have turned a corner when picking up his first points of the campaign against The Thorn in Exeter but he followed that up with an indifferent display against Peter Wright last time and looks vulnerable whoever he is up against at the moment.

However, the prices still look to be wrong with the popular Australian deemed the outsider of the two.

Both are in horrible form but there is no doubt who has the class between the two and at the prices, Whitlock has to be the selection to seal a crucial second victory.

Aside from recent results there is also the obvious concern about their personal history which has seen Chisnall dominate with 13 wins out of 19.

However, this short format doesn’t translate that well to the other events and the value is certainly not with the favourite.

Robert Thornton to beat Adrian Lewis @ 9/4

Despite being bang in the middle of the table Robert Thornton is much closer to bottom than top and he will be desperate to pick up a win after failing to do so in his last four.

In The Thorn’s defence he has only lost two of those matches and was drafted in to fill Wes Newton’s shoes two weeks ago where he played twice.

The reality remains though that he needs to start turning those near-misses into wins if he is to stand any chance of making it to the O2 and at first glance it looks difficult to start the recovery this week against recent UK Open winner, Adrian Lewis.

Jackpot was in cracking form in the three-day event in Minehead and logic would dictate that he will  be able to bring that form over to Leeds.

However, logic and patterns rarely feature with the big Potter and the tentative advice is to invest in The Thorn to record a crucial win.

Lewis has responded well since suffering back-to-back defeats against Wes Newton and Peter Wright with a draw against Michael van Gerwen and a last-gasp nod over Gary Anderson.

But the 29-year-old still cannot be relied on at odds-on and with Thornton fully focused the celebrations from another Major success could take their toll on the jolly.

Michael van Gerwen to beat Gary Anderson @ 2/5

Gary Anderon has been unsurprisingly unpredictable in this year’s running and looks there for the taking against an un-opposable Van Gerwen.

While the Somerset-based Scot has been following defeat with victory on a weekly basis, Van Gerwen has made a fine start to his defence with only one reversal in his six matches.

The price is almost prohibitive if it wasn’t considered that Anderson has only won one of their last 11 and none of their last four.

This should be another step to the semi-finals for the Dutchman and another pre-cursor to what will probably be an Anderson win next week.

Phil Taylor to beat Wes Newton @ 2/5

Wes Newton returned to the fold after missing Week 5 with illness only to get thrashed at the hands of the reigning champion and another tough night looks on the cards against the most successful player in the history of the event.

Although it would be impossible to tell this season that Taylor had won the competition six times there have been signs in recent weeks that he is beginning to keep at least a finger or two on the winning thread.

Taylor will know that a third win of the season against The Warrior will propel him right back into the play-off picture and that motivation alone should be enough to seal the deal.

There are no concerns that Newton is still suffering from the tonsillitis that kept him out but despite two excellent victories over Van Barneveld and Lewis he is in danger of becoming a spent force.

There will be lots of pressure on the oche for this penultimate match and the strong advice is to back Taylor to deal with it best.

Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveldto draw @ 4/1

If this match had been priced up before Week 1 there would have been no chance that Peter Wright would have started as favourite but that is the case with Snakebite sitting unbeaten at the top of the league after six weeks.

Wright has been in phenomenal form since the beginning of the World Championships where he found only Michael van Gerwen too good and it has become increasingly difficult to oppose the natty dresser.

Wright’s comfortable 7-3 victory over the troubled Whitlock was his fifth win from six matches following his stalemate with Thornton in Exeter.

Raymond van Barneveld will still strongly fancy his chances of making the play-offs despite failing to convert in the last two weeks where he has shared the spoils with both The Thorn and Chisnall.

However, there is no doubt that the two points mean a lot more to Barney and that could work against the ever-popular Dutchman.

Encouragement is easy to find for the so called underdog with Van Barneveld dominating their head-to-head stats 5-1.

However, they haven’t met once since Wright’s life changed forever at Ally Pally and he is a different proposition now.

All that being said the 4/1 that the match finishes all-square seems fair enough considering the history of their previous meetings and the short format.

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

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Sam Foster