23,000 piss drunk screaming Irishmen may sound like Neil Francis’ idea of hell, but it’s what will be inside the 3Arena on Thursday night as the Premier League crosses the Irish Sea for the first time in 2016. After a bumpy start to proceedings which saw fixtures be moved around and shuffled after two withdrawals, everyone seems to be fit and ready for the Emerald Isle, and Paddy’s found a nice accumulator.
Peter Wright vs James Wade
The world number 5 & 6 clash in Dublin with Peter Wright going against the Machine. Wade pulled double duty in Newcastle last week, beating Michael Smith before being soundly trounced by a 111- averaging Phil Taylor. He recovered at the weekend in the Dutch Darts Masters, reaching the third round before being beaten by Benito Van De Pas. Wright fell at the same stage to Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney. This is a close result to call, if I had to I’d lean towards a Wright win (his record in Dublin is good) but go for Snakebite to have the most 180’s at
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Dave Chisnall vs Michael Smith
Chizzy is usually more inconsistent than an Arsenal fan’s title prediction, proving it again in last week’s loss to Adrian Lewis. After trouncing Thornton 7-0 in week 1, he was on the verge of that scoreline against Jackpot only for the Stokie to throw a few darts at double away, allowing Chizzy to bring it to 7-4.
Michael Smith is having a harsh welcome to the top 10 of darts. Played three, lost three, and averaging just 86. He needs a win desperatley, but he won’t get it here. Chizzy hat trick (most 180’s, high checkout and win) at
Robert Thornton vs Raymond Van Barneveld
There’s a reason that Rob Thornton is such long odds to win this. He’s missed the last two competitive events due to illness, hasn’t picked up a dart since the start of the month, and is up against a man that’s celebrating his 10th year in the PDC by throwing some of his best darts. Barney was beaten by Peter Wright last week 7-5, but averaged more than Snakebite. It would be a big surprise if he doesn’t register his second victory here – Barney win
Phil Taylor vs Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor took the weekend off from darts, electing not to compete in Holland. Why would he? He put in his best TV performance of the last year in Newcastle, dismantling James Wade. But recent history would suggest that he won’t be able to keep that up against the World Champ in Dublin. He’s lost his last three TV matches against the Flying Scot.
Anderson averaged 106 last week in Newcastle. Normally, that’d win you any dart match. The problem was he was against Michael Van Gerwen, who averaged nearly 112, and won 7-3. Throw anywhere near that average again, and the match should be Anderson’s. Anderson 7-5 at
Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis
When you throw 106 average and lose, your opponent is near-unstoppable. That proves to be the case more often than not with MVG, who wrapped up his third successive Dutch Darts Masters title with a 112 average and 6/8 doubles vs Gurney. The Dude had taken care of Adrian Lewis in the quarter finals, but overall, Jackpot can be happy with his weekends work as it strengthens his grip on world number 3.
When MVG is in form, he’s in form, and there’s not another darter on the planet that can touch him. Back over 7.5 maximum’s at