Sky Bet's Craig Ibbotson picks out the best bets ahead of the fifth week of the Premier League
By Craig Ibbotson. Last Updated: March 7, 2013 5:15pm
Phil Taylor: Is expected to recover from his disappointing draw with James Wade by beating Gary Anderson
Week Five gets underway on Thursday night in Nottingham, a venue which generally produces the spectacular - plenty of 180s, high checkouts and lots of drama.
James Wade v Robert Thornton
This game could well be the game of the night and certainly poses a lot of questions before the match takes place. Thornton have been regularly averaging 100 in the opening weeks of the tournament, scoring 180s for fun and playing to a high standard throughout. Wade on the other hand has been his classic workmanlike self, hitting 180s and checkouts at the right times and making himself very hard to beat as we have always been accustomed to. So who wins? Well I think that the standard of play from Thornton will make Wade raise his game as he did last week versus Phil Taylor but both have huge hearts and I think we will start the night off with a classic draw.
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Barney has been sensational in the Premier League this year and this match entirely revolves around him. If the real Barney turns up then he wins, as he has done each week barring a sensational match with Michael van Gerwen. Hamilton has been causing upsets along his way as he done consistently for the last two seasons but he won't be able to match an in-form van Barneveld in Nottingham.
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
This should be one of the highlights of the tournament especially after that absorbing match in the quarter-finals of the World Championships which van Gerwen nicked 5-4, but Lewis is woefully lacking in confidence and application at the minute. Van Gerwen has hit the ground running and is just continuing where he left off in 2012, what is a certainty in this match is that Van Gerwen will play well, it is hard to remember the last time he didn't play well. Adrian Lewis is a different story and it is hard to see how he can match MVG in his current form, however Lewis is capable of putting in anything, he could average 80 or 110 tonight and we won't know until those first few darts go in for him. A really tough game to call and not one I would get involved in.
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Taylor will be rocked after last week's dramatic draw with James Wade and I fully expect a typical Taylor reaction and I fear the worst for Anderson. Gary Anderson has showed his true colours, brilliant in scoring, disappointing in finishing and he will really need both areas to brilliant if he wants to compete with the greatest player ever to take to the stage. Taylor is not at his imperious best these days but he will certainly be too much for Anderson and a comfortable win is on the cards.
Wes Newton v Simon Whitlock
This looks to be an intriguing contest between the nice guys of the circuit. There will be no tricks, no mental games, these two will just turn up throw at their own pace and the better player will come out on top. Both players have picked their games up in the last two weeks and I fully expect a high class game to round the evening off. I think Whitlock is too short and if I was to have a bet on the match I would be favouring Newton on the Draw No Bet market. However, I think the play is to bet on them both playing well and for that reason I expect a host of 180s.