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Phil Taylor can start his Premier League fightback with two wins

| 18.04.2013

Tonight’s feast of Premier League Darts action comes from Dublin’s Docklands and features stalwarts of the game Phil “The Power” Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld seeking to avenge defeats against Andy Hamilton and Michael Van Gerwen suffered earlier in the competition, before returning to the 02 stage to do battle with each other. The usually imperious Taylor has been inconsistent throughout the Premier League, but the Stoke thrower can pouch a brace of wins tonight, for which he can be backed at 8/15 and 5/6 respectively – a double returns £28.11 to a £10 stake.

Despite winning another World Championship in January this year, Taylor’s form in the Premier League has been patchy and “the Power” has picked up consecutive wins just once in his 10 games in this year’s competition.

Ton conversion has been his Achilles heel in the competition so far with Taylor’s total of 18 maximums a massive eight below next lowest 180-scorer, the now relegated Wes Newton. Ton-40’s haven’t come much more easily either with his total of 64 only the sixth best in the league.

One of the four games he’s lost in the competition was to tonight’s first adversary, fellow Stoke darter Andy Hamilton, to whom he went down 7-3. Their Dublin clash looks vitally important given the pair are deadlocked on 10 points – one outside the play-offs – with three games to go.

As a 16-time World Champion Taylor’s ability to handle pressure is second to none and this attribute along with his consistency and superior reliability at the check-out should see him better “the Hammer”. Whilst Taylor’s 180 and 140 may lag behind Hamilton’s, his three-dart average is near five-points superior to that of his adversary, which should enable him to ratchet up the pressure on the way to victory.

Raymond Van Barneveld will have a none-tougher first match first up this evening against his massive-scoring countryman Michael Van Gerwen and he’ll need to play out of his skin to get a result which could take him back to the top of the table after losing 7-3 to “Mighty Mike” in their last meeting.

The last thing “Barney” will need after such a contest is to have to return to the oche against old foe Taylor, whom he has lost to in all but two of their last 25 meetings.