Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall battle for Premier League Darts final play-off spot
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 11/05/17 3:04pm
Six players went into Sheffield with a chance of joining Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright at Premier League Finals Night at The O2, now only two remain.
In Birmingham, Snakebite and MVG had sealed their place in London leaving the pair to battle it out for top spot and the £25,000 bonus on offer, but the story behind them was different.
As Dave Clark confirmed when kicking off the live Sky Sports coverage from Sheffield on Thursday night, 'it's the tightest Premier League ever' as everyone from third-placed Gary Anderson to last-place James Wade had a chance - ranging from realistic to unlikely but mathematically possible
Premier League permutations
- Phil Taylor will qualify if he avoids defeat against Adrian Lewis
- Dave Chisnall must beat James Wade AND Taylor lose to Lewis, with a 11-leg swing in the process
- If Chizzy wins 7-0, Taylor can afford to lose 7-4
- If Chizzy wins 7-3, Taylor can afford to lose 7-1
- If Chizzy wins 7-1, Taylor can afford to lose 7-3
- If Chizzy wins 7-4/7-5, Taylor can afford to lose 7-0
- If Chizzy wins 7-2, Taylor can afford to lose 7-2
After Thursday's action, where Gary Anderson joined Wright and van Gerwen to ensure the top three in the world rankings have made the final four, two men will fight for the final spot.
Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall head to Aberdeen after big wins, but for Wade, Lewis and Barney, the Premier League dream is over for another year. Here's how things stack up heading of the final week of the regular season
Vintage Taylor stuns MVG
Report from Week 14 of the Premier League as Taylor moves into pole position for an O2 spot
Michael van Gerwen (1st) - QUALIFIED
MVG needed just a point to win the league for a fifth season in succession but slumped to a 7-3 defeat against the Power, who - knowing his O2 spot was on the line - perhaps wanted it that little bit more.
An angry Van Gerwen, who has now won just two of his last five Premier League matches, suffered just his second Premier League defeat of the season now has a one-point advantage over Wright.
MVG has made no secret of his desire to top the table but he must beat Gary Anderson in front of a raucous Aberdeen crowd to seal top spot next Thursday. If he does, with Taylor the hot favourite to finish fourth, a mouthwatering rematch between the best there is and the best there ever has been could await in the semi-final in London in just under two weeks.
Peter Wright (2nd) - QUALIFIED
After several near misses, Snakebite sealed a first ever appearance on Finals Night with his win over Taylor in Birmingham two weeks ago and, after he trounced Adrian Lewis on Thursday to end Jackpot's capital hopes, MVG suffered a surprise defeat that means Snakebite could pinch top spot.
As well as remaining in the hunt for the £25,000 bonus, Wright has ensured he will avoid Van Gerwen until the Final at the O2.
Wright faces Raymond van Barneveld in Aberdeen and with beleaguered Barney having lost five of his last six matches, Snakey will fancy his chances of winning the night's penultimate match to pile the pressure on MVG, who plays home favourite Anderson in the final match of the night.
Gary Anderson (3rd) - QUALIFIED
The Flying Scotsman ensured they'll be no nervous night in front of his home fans with a dominant performance to beat James Wade and end the Machine's faint hopes of a London spot.
Anderson's win gives him back-to-back victories for the first time since weeks eight and nine and, with his ticket to Finals Night booked, he can put an inconsistent Premier League season behind him and focus on the title.
As a two-time Premier League winner, he is a man to be feared and he could be coming into form at the right time. A victory over MVG in Aberdeen will only further that belief ahead of a fifth trip to the O2 for the fourth year in succession.
Phil Taylor (4th)
Playing in his final ever Premier League, the Power bounced back from two defeats in succession to beat Van Gerwen and keep his destiny in his own hands.
The six-time Premier League champ was beaten by MVG in the final last year but hasn't won the title since 2012, and the fairy-tale finish will remain alive if he can avoid defeat against Adrian Lewis in Aberdeen.
The pressure could be off Taylor if Chisnall fails to win the opening match against James Wade next week - Chizzy must win to have any chance of turning around the 10-leg difference between the pair and needs to make it an 11-leg swing due to the deciding factors.
If Chisnall wins, Taylor qualifies for the Play-Offs with a win or a draw or even with a 7-4 or 7-5 defeat - any other defeat would bring leg difference between Taylor and Chisnall into the equation.
Only points or leg difference will be used to split, asChisnall cannot level or overtake Taylor on legs won against throw, which would be the third differentiating factor (32-25).
Dave Chisnall (5th)
To have even given himself a chance, Chisnall deserves huge credit. He has overtaken Wade and now Lewis and Van Barneveld to be the only man in with a chance of breaking into the top four.
Incredibly, having been bottom of the table as recently as week 11, an unbeaten five-match run had propelled Chizzy into unlikely contention for the O2 jamboree and he kept the run alive with victory over Van Barneveld to end the Dutchman's hopes.
It could have been better for Chisnall, who missed darts for a win rather than draw against MVG in Birmingham last week and against Gary Anderson in Liverpool, but to have a chance is more than the man from St Helens could have expected.
Premier League - Week 15 Fixtures
|Dave Chisnall||v||James Wade|
|Phil Taylor||v||Adrian Lewis|
|Peter Wright||v||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Michael van Gerwen||v||Gary Anderson|
Follow the final night of regular Premier League season action from Aberdeen on Thursday from 7pm on Sky Sports 1 while we will have build-up across our Sky Sports platforms. Follow us @SkySportsDarts