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Bubbling in Dublin?

Rod tips a good night for Taylor, Van Gerwen, but woe for Barney, Hamilton

Rod Harrington Posted 16th April 2013 view comments

All the players love going to The O2 in Dublin because the atmosphere is so different to many of the other venues on the Premier League circuit.

It's an auditorium-style stadium that holds up to 12,000 people and we're expecting between 7,000 and 8,000 people to be there on Thursday night. A bit like Bournemouth or Brighton it produces a different atmosphere to the sports arena / ice hockey stadiums that we use.

Van Barneveld & Taylor: duo to clash on Thursday

Van Barneveld & Taylor: duo to clash on Thursday

In somewhere like this you get an all-round sound coming on to the stage and it leads to a different - and often better - atmosphere for the players.

We've got six games in Dublin and Raymond van Barneveld plays against both Phil Taylor AND Michael van Gerwen on the same night. I think he'll be lucky to get a point this week.

Phil Taylor also plays twice and I think he needs to get four points if he wants to finish in the top four. Anything less than that will leave him in danger of missing the play-offs.

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Here's how I see things going this week.

Andy Hamilton v Phil Taylor

As I say, Taylor needs to put wins on the board and he knows what he has to do. Andy Hamilton has gone off the boil a little bit and has been missing the double 16's and double 8's that he's had a mortgage out on for much of the season. Taylor won't let him off and I think the motivation of missing the top four for the first time in Premier League history will motivate him. I think The Hammer will feel the full force of Taylor this week.

ROD'S CALL: Taylor win

Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen

Watching Barney over the last few weeks, I've seen him losing form in the middle legs of games. He did it against Andy Hamilton last week and got out of jail in the end, but I don't think he can do it against Michael van Gerwen, who is on such a high at the moment. He won a UK Open qualifier at the weekend, he beat Taylor in the Premier League last week and Barney is going to struggle to get a point off him.

ROD'S CALL: Van Gerwen win

Robert Thornton v James Wade

Robert Thornton let Simon Whitlock off the hook last week when he missed far too many darts at doubles. He had been playing beautiful darts, but all of a sudden he crashed and burned and Whitlock took his chance. James Wade has been playing beautiful darts in the last few weeks and beat Adrian Lewis comfortably in Sheffield before losing to Van Gerwen in his second match of the night. I'm going to take the latter result out of the form equation and I can only see a Wade win. Thornton has surprised me all year and he's got on with the job very well, but I just think Wade will get the better of him.

ROD'S CALL: Wade win

Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton

Whitlock seized his chances against Hamilton last week and it was a perfect example to any youngster watching darts that you should never give up, even when your opponent is playing very well. He won another Tour event last weekend and I think his form is looking very good. The Hammer has dropped off the level he's been at for quite a while, but he's a grinder and if you give him chances he will take them. He let Barney off the hook last week and didn't play great at the weekend so I'm going for a Whitlock win.

ROD'S CALL: Whitlock win

Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor

Taylor has lost a few matches this year and knows he needs a win, so I think he'll come out with all guns blazing for Barney. If the Dutchman has a little dip in the middle of the game, as he has in the last few weeks, there's no question Phil will bury him. Sometimes the lazy throw of Barney looks as smooth as silk when things are going well, but when it's not going well he doesn't seem to be able to make it work. Against Taylor, he has to make it work and he'll need to dig deep to get a point out of the game.

ROD'S CALL: Taylor win

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

Nobody wants to play Michael van Gerwen at the moment, as proved by his big win over Taylor last week. Adrian didn't play well against Wade in Sheffield and that's been the case for some time - and he went out early in both tournaments last weekend. He has been really bad on his doubles and said to me "I'm putting them on the wire Rod, what more can I do?" I just told him that if he keeps thinking about putting them on the wire then they'll keep going on the wire. We all know what Lewis can do - he can beat anybody on his day - but we keep saying that and he hasn't been doing it. Van Gerwen, in contrast, has been doing it and going on the form book I have to go for a win for the Dutchman.

ROD'S CALL: Van Gerwen win

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