Taylor in seventh heaven
Premier League Darts reaches its conclusion this Thursday and Carl Longhawn is tipping Phil Taylor to win the event for a seventh time.
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After 15 weeks of action, four players remain in the hunt for 2014 Premier League Darts title and one of the quartet is now just two matches from glory.
Looking back over the event as a whole, it is a measure of the quality of the competition that dual world champion Adrian Lewis and former World Championship finalists Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock are on the outside looking in this week.
The consistent line from all involved this year has been that it has been the most competitive and highest-quality renewal of the event and bodes well for the future of both the competition and the PDC brand.
Back to the present, however, and the two semi-finals for which the betting of both has a lop-sided look to it.
Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor are both short odds-on in their respective matches against Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld.
For me, the odds do not reflect how close the match between MVG and Anderson looks on paper, particularly given the form of the latter in 2014.
MVG's last two performances are a large factor in his odds but this is a different night and it would not be a great surprise to me to see Anderson prevail. That said, I'm not tempted in and, as with the clash between Barney and Taylor, a watching brief is assumed for the match.
The aforementioned clash between the two great rivals of the past 10 years is normally a show stealer but I do have concerns about Barney's mentality coming into this match. He has the monkey on his back in regard his winless streak against Taylor and his failure to progress beyond the semi-finals of this competition.
Taylor has shown great heart and grit to come back from his poor start to the PL season and has consistently averaged around the 100 mark. He has winning form against MVG this year and a strong record against Anderson so neither would hold undue fear for Taylor in the final.
I am confident he can lift his seventh Premier League crown and is backed to do so at 6/4.