Gary Anderson 21-16 Simon Whitlock
Gary Anderson has drawn his last three Premier League matches and is looking to win for the first time since he defeated Gerwyn Price on night two of the tournament. Last week against Raymond van Barneveld he had to come back from behind to salvage a draw, having also had to survive missed match darts for the third week in a row.
Anderson took out a crucial finish of 144 in the final leg of the match against Barney. Overall, he registered three ton plus checkouts in the match. His total of seven three-figure checkouts in the 2018 Premier League is only matched by Van Gerwen.
His combined checkout percentage over the last three weeks is a very impressive 58%, compared to his opening three matches where it was a lowly 28%.
Simon Whitlock is currently fourth in the league table but is without a win in his last three Premier League matches since winning three consecutive games at the start of the tournament. Last week against Daryl Gurney he missed four darts at doubles in the final leg of the match which would have given him a 7-5 win instead of a 6-6 draw.
His match average of 96.38 against Gurney was his highest since the opening week of the tournament and was only the second time in six Premier League matches where he has averaged over 95.
Whitlock has struggled for match wins in all competitions over the last month. He has won just twice in his last eleven competitive matches and comes into this fixture with two early exits in Players Championship tournaments last weekend.
Gary Anderson certainly won’t be satisfied with his points total and position in the league table after six weeks of the 2018 Premier League. Although he produced very good performances in his matches against Van Gerwen and Wright, he gained only one point from those encounters and his performances in the rest of his matches have not been at the standard he would expect.
Simon Whitlock is clinging on to a top four place at the moment but he will have to improve if he is to stay there. He took his chances excellently in the opening three weeks though has been less deadly on the doubles in recent matches and his form away from the Premier League is not good.
The Flying Scotsman has the quality to come out on top in this clash. Anderson knows he has to start picking up wins if he is to make a play for a top four finish, so expect him to be well motivated for this match in front of a vocal home crowd. Whitlock’s confidence must certainly be more fragile than it was a month ago and he could struggle to cope if Anderson rises to the occasion.