The 2014 Betway Premier League Darts Championship is now 2 weeks in and has been notable for some tight games but it’s also left us wondering whether we are witnessing the decline of Phil Taylor.
Opening fixtures against Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis were never going to be the easiest but the Power lost both to wide margins and is clearly struggling.
Despite those reverses, Taylor remains second favourite to lift the trophy at 11/4 with Paddy Power but would you risk your money at that price? The ties will get easier from this point but there must be a doubt over Phil’s ability to turn it around.
Dutchman van Gerwen is the outright favourite here at odds of 5/4 with William Hill and he has continued his good form from the World Championship at the start of the year. A 7-0 whitewash of Taylor was followed by a closer, 7-5 win over Robert Thornton but Mighty Mike is the man they all have to beat.
Another darter with a 100% record going into week three is Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis who is a tempting prospect at 7/2 with Coral. Two time world Champion Lewis has the quality to take the big tournaments and form suggests he has more chance than Taylor of challenging van Gerwen right now.
Elsewhere, PDC World Runner up Peter Wright is the fourth favourite but he is way behind the front three at 20/1 with Paddy Power. Snakebite Wright has a win and a draw from his opening two games and is disproving a popular theory that his appearance in the World final was a one off.
Of the rank outsiders, Dave Chisnall’s record is equal to Wright’s and the two finished all square at six legs apiece when they met in week two. Chisnall was disappointing in the worlds but is a better player than his form suggests and may just be worth an outside punt at 25/1 with Bet365.
They say you should never write off Taylor but that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. The Power has some easier ties coming up but two early losses might just leave him with too much to do. Meanwhile, Lewis and Van Gerwen meet at the beginning of March in week five and even at that early stage, we think the match will prove to be a title decider.
- Adrian Lewis to win the Premier League trophy at 7/2 with Coral
- Michael van Gerwen to hit most 180s in the tournament at 13/8 with Bet365
The PDC Premier League Darts takes place every Thursday, live on Sky Sports.