The ticker-tape had barely finished scattering the floor of the Alexandra Palace to celebrate Gary Anderson’s second successful world championship victory last Sunday, when we got the announcement of the 10 players who are going to compete in the 2016 Premier League Darts.
The 10 players taking part in the 2016 Premier League Darts are…….
Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld
MVG, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis all qualified automatically through order of merit (the top 4 ranked players in the PDC). As well as the top 4 in the world, Peter Wright, James Wade, Robert Thornton and Michael Smith all qualified via the PDC wildcard selctions.
The final two places were chosen by host broadcaster, Sky Sports, who have two wildcard selections. They went for Dave Chisnall and unsurprisingly, crowd favourite Raymond van Barneveld, who was the 2014 Premier League champion.
This year’s event is also breaking new territory with an added bonus for Dutch darts fans, as on Week 15 (12th May), the Premier League makes its first visit to the Netherlands, with Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena hosting the final week’s league action (finals week is the Thursday afterwards).
The full list of venues is as follows………..
Week 1 – Feb 4th – First Direct Arena, Leeds
Week 2 – Feb 11th – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Week 3 – Feb 18th – 3Arena, Dublin
Week 4 – Feb 25th – GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Week 5 – Mar 3rd – Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Week 6 – Mar 10th – Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Week 7 – Mar 17th – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Week 8 – Mar 24th – Echo Arena, Liverpool
Week 9 – Judgement Night – Mar 31st – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Week 10 – Apr 7th – Sheffield Arena
Week 11 – Apr 14th – The SSE Arena, Belfast
Week 12 – Apr 21st – Bournemouth International Centre
Week 13 – Apr 28th – The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Week 14 – May 5th – Manchester Arena
Week 15 – May 12th – Ahoy Arena, Rotterdam
Play-Offs – May 19 – The O2, London
Premier League Darts Outright Winner Betting
Unsurprisingly, Michael van Gerwen is the red hot favourite to win the Premier League, he is currently a best price of 11/8. The Dutchman’s favouritism is based more on his exceptional form throughout 2015, than his track record in the Premier League.
Van Gerwen has only won this event once (beating Phil Taylor 10-8 in the 2013 final), but on the flip side, he has contested the last three finals. He is almost a nailed on certainty to make the finals night, where he will only be another two matches away from adding to his one Premier League title.
MVG’s closest rival in the betting is the two times World Champion, and the two times Premier League winner (and defending Champion), Gary Anderson.
The Flying Scotsman is coming in at a best price of 7/2 to take his World Championship form into the 16 week road show and add a third Premier League, to his already impressive list of titles.
Third favourite is 6 times Premier League Champion Phil Taylor. The Power struggled at the World Championships, and looked far from his best. His last title in this event was back in 2012. While it would be foolish to write Taylor off (how many times have we heard that over the years), it would also be very brave to be backing him at 7/1.