Premier League Darts: Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright chase play-off spots
Last Updated: 15/05/14 10:27am
Gary Anderson: Play-off destiny is in his hands against Raymond van Barneveld
The semi-final line-up for this year’s Premier League will be completed when the regular season draws to a close in Brighton on Thursday night.
Dutch duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld have already qualified for the play-offs but the remaining two places are still up for grabs.
Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson currently occupy third and fourth places respectively, but Peter Wright is also in with a chance of making the last four in his first season in the competition.
Taylor and Anderson face Robert Thornton and van Barneveld respectively knowing that a win will earn them a place at the showdown for the title at the O2 Arena on May 22.
If one of them loses then a draw against van Gerwen will be enough to see Wright swoop into the top four. Wright is one point behind Taylor and Anderson, who are level on 18, and has a superior leg difference.
In the event that Taylor or Anderson draw, a win will put Wright through due to his leg difference advantage. Taylor currently wins the tie-breaker against Anderson by one leg.
But Wright faces a tough challenge knowing that he needs to avoid defeat in a rematch of the world championship final as well as having to rely on results elsewhere.
Taylor has, on paper, the easiest task of the three as he goes up against the player ranked bottom of the eight still remaining. The 16-time world champion is delighted to be on the brink of qualification after starting his campaign with three straight defeats.
"After my start, when everybody wrote me off, it would be great to qualify," Taylor told the PDC’s official website.
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"You want to play well and win, but I was under a bit of pressure at the start of the season and my practice game hasn't always gone up on stage.
"I'm making it hard work for myself but I'm enjoying it. It's up to me to win this week and it's really exciting."
Anderson is also one of the league’s in-form players having gone unbeaten since the start of the second phase and is feeling confident ahead of his clash with van Barneveld.
He said: “I'm not quite there yet but it's in my hands. I've lost some games this season that I shouldn't have lost but I've just got to beat Raymond this week.
"I was more worried about playing Dave (Chisnall) last week - because he had nothing to lose - than I am about Raymond, but my scoring's been great and my finishing percentage for the tournament is probably better than most of the other players."
Van Barneveld still has a chance of finishing top of the table ahead of van Gerwen, but he needs his compatriot to lose as well as a dramatic turnaround in leg difference.