Barney to stay top?
Sky Bet's Craig Ibbotson runs through what promises to be an intriguing third week of the Premier League.
By Craig Ibbotson. Last Updated: 21/02/13 5:17pm
Raymond van Barneveld: Top of the Premier League table going into week three
Week three sees the explosive tournament head to Bournemouth, a venue which has seen some stunning action in the past.
Raymond van Barneveld tops the table with four points and Wes Newton and Adrian Lewis will both be looking to get off the mark in what promises to be another fantastic advert for darts on Sky Sports 1 HD.
James Wade (13/8) v Adrian Lewis (6/5)
What would be one of the most mouth-watering ties over the last few years has lost its edge over the last couple of seasons and both players come into the tie out of form. Wade has 2 points to his name, albeit given to him by Newton in week one, while Lewis is rock bottom on no points. Lewis however showed a little more application last week against Taylor and I expect him to be better first on tonight and certainly get the better of the early stages and hold on to win.
Robert Thornton (11/10) v Wes Newton (7/4)
Thornton is one of the form men in the Premier League after winning in week one and backing that up with a fantastic 6-6 draw with Michael van Gerwen last week and it is hard to see past him on that form with Newton yet to get off the mark in his debut season. I feel Newton has shown glimpses of form and has obviously taken a while to settle into the competition and I fully expect him to hit back at Bournemouth with Thornton facing a long days travel from the north.
Simon Whitlock (5/1) v Phil Taylor (4/11)
Taylor is playing very well at the minute and alongside Barney seems the man to beat in the early stages whereas Whitlock is really struggling with his form. Taylor will punish Whitlock's poor scoring this week and I fully expect a comfortable evening for 'The Power' so maybe you should be getting with Taylor to smash the Wizard.
Michael van Gerwen (5/4) v Raymond van Barneveld (6/4)
Probably two of the most exciting players to watch on the circuit, both capable of tonnes of 180's, big checkouts and astronomical averages and this looks to be the match of the night between the two Dutch superstars. Barney is top of the early averages for the competition and will certainly be looking to get one over on his compatriot as he did in the Grand Slam of Darts final in November last year. Van Gerwen is not playing badly and is continuing with his form of 2012 and although he has failed to get over the line in his opening contests I think the prices have dipped too far in the favour of van Barneveld.
Andy Hamilton (7/4) v Gary Anderson (11/10)
Could be billed as 'the tortoise v the hare', Hamilton a slow player who is precise with every dart and consistent on his doubles, whereas Anderson is a player who can get into a flow and looks unbeatable offset with a lack of consistency on the doubles which ultimately prove to be his downfall. It looks a tough one to predict, Anderson coming off the back of a good win against Whitlock last week in his home country should have the confidence to kick on and bizarrely the slowness of Hamilton should allow more consistency in his game having spent a lot of hours practising with Justin Pipe.