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Premier League Darts: 3 World C’ship reprisals on opening night

| 05.02.2015

Barry Hearn knows a thing or two about excitement. Having transformed pub sports into moneyspinners the world over thanks to stage dancers and an acceptance of Christmas fancy dress, he’s followed it up with a scheduling masterstroke on the opening night of the 2015 Premier League darts season.

Three of the five clashes at the First Direct Arena in Leeds will see repeats of matches held at the World Championship over the festive season and we’re backing all three losers to avenge their defeats in our best bets for the night:

Adrian Lewis to beat Raymond van Barneveld @ 8/15

Lewis hit a nine-darter in his third-round match at Alexandra Palace but somehow contrived to lose against the Dutchman despite having a three-dart average over five points better than his rival.

Jackpot has made starting quickly in the Premier League a habit in recent seasons too, losing just one of his four previous opening matches and hammering Simon Whitlock 7-1 at this stage last year.

Barney, on the other hand, has been playing worse than his recent run to the World Championship semis and Master final suggests.

Phil Taylor to beat Gary Anderson @ 5/6

Like Van Barneveld, Taylor was not at his best during the World Championships but managed to scrap his way to the final regardless and was outdone by Anderson’s sheer determination.

A first-round exit at the Masters since then doesn’t bode well either, but the Power will be dead-set on reversing the form of the Ally Pally final, against a man he hasn’t beaten in this competition in three straight meetings.

James Wade to beat Stephen Bunting @ 5/6

This is Wade’s first appearance back in the Premier League since being dropped from the lineup last year and he’ll want to use it as a vehicle for career rehabilitation having secured just one premier PDC title in the last four years.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.