Nervy night to come in the Premier League
Five players are battling for two play-off places in the Premier League, ensuring for a nervy final round robin night at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.
Phil Taylor was the first player to book his place at finals night at London’s O2 Arena, and the 15-time champion of the world hasn’t had to worry about not qualifying.
Simon Whitlock became the second player to join Taylor in the semis, with the Australian winning six of his 13 matches.
On the final week, Whitlock only needs a point to secure second spot in the table, and he takes on double world champion Adrian Lewis, who is third and has to win to guarantee himself a place in the semi-finals.
A draw for Lewis could put him out, as he, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Kevin Painter and Andy Hamilton are all fighting for the two play-off positions.
Lewis has the benefit of playing first this Thursday night, and the situation is in his hands.
Second on the oche is Hamilton against Painter, a tussle between the two debutants in this year’s Premier League, and for one of them their tournament will come to an end.
Even though they are on the same points, Painter has the advantage over Hamilton. Should the Artist draw, then it could be enough for him to sneak into the play-offs, but that would only happen if Lewis and either Wade or Barney lose. A win for Painter still might not be enough depending on those three players’ results.
Hamilton has to get maximum points against Painter to stand a chance, and hope Lewis loses. If that is the case, then all will go down to the Van Barneveld versus Wade encounter.
Five-time world champion Van Barneveld was in a comfortable position not so long ago, occupying second spot and looking like he was going to cruise to the semi-finals.
However, he is in danger of not qualifying for only the second time in the history of the Premier League.
Wade, the 2009 champion, knows that a win against Barney will seal his place, but knows that a defeat to the Dutchman will see him out and Barney through. A draw could still see both players progress, only if Lewis loses.
So a lot depends on the Lewis against Whitlock match. A win for the world champion would make it very interesting for the rest of the evening, meaning four players would be vying for one place. If he loses, then he’ll be made to suffer quite a bit waiting for the outcome of the other encounters.
İsmail Vedat- Follow me on twitter
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