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Phill’s Predictions and Previews for Premier League Week 4

he following article was written and graciously submitted by Phill Catterick, a freelance writer based in Staffordshire. Phill may be contacted by email.

As the Whyte and Mackay Premier League campaign enters its fourth week, it’s becoming increasingly clear that nothing in this competition can be a certainty.

And those who thought (including myself) that Terry Jenkins wouldn’t pose Phil Taylor half as many problems as he eventually did may now find it difficult to predict what will happen next.

One of the biggest surprises as the party approaches Belfast is the fact that Raymond Van Barneveld lies bottom of the table, and is in danger of losing touch with rivals Phil Taylor and Mervyn King unless he gets a victory very quickly.

However, he faces Jenkins next and with his confidence being sky high after his fantastic performance against `The Power`, the World number three might find it tricky to secure maximum points to climb the table on this occasion.

Mervyn King continues to impress in the tournament after his convincing 8-2 win over John Part, and a victory this week would put him into week 5 with a 100% record, where he will meet Phil Taylor.

In contrast, one player who looks to have turned a corner after a poor start is James Wade. Although he went 4-1 down against Barneveld, he fought back impressively to take seven legs on the trot to reduce the Dutchman to his second defeat in three games, and his play off chances are increasing week by week-although there’s still a long way to go of course.

Wayne Mardle too has responded well in the last couple of weeks, with a draw against Terry Jenkins in Edinburgh, and a hard fought win against Jelle Klaasen in Coventry last week. Both results have put him right in the mix, and providing he maintains his current form, it’s not an impossibility for him to reach the play-offs too, although I can’t see it myself with other players yet to show their hand.

Predictions: Week Four

John Part v Wayne Mardle

Both players will fancy their chances of a win in this one, with the victor likely to leave
the arena in a play-off position. I predicted these two players would prop up the table
come week 14, but Part in particular has proved me very wrong, claiming a point against Barneveld, and two against James Wade in Liverpool on the opening night.
He was disappointing against King last week, but Part is no walkover and will want to hit back against `Hawaii 501. `

`The entertainer` was delighted with his victory against Klaasen last time out, and a win in Belfast would certainly increase his chances of a trip to Wembley in May. However, in Part he will meet someone far more consistent, and I think with the Canadian having proved me wrong so many times before, I think he might just edge it.

Phill’s prediction: Part 8-6 Mardle

Mervyn King v Jelle Klaasen

If Klaasen isn’t careful, this could end up being a whitewash considering the form that `The King` has been in recently. Since his first match against Terry Jenkins, the Dutchman has rarely threatened, and will need to up his game soon if he’s to avoid being out of the play-off race before the half way stage in the competition.

At the moment, King looks focused, determined and very comfortable on the stage and I foresee another victory. Sadly for all of you Klaasen fans, I fear it could be a question of how many he loses by.

Phill’s prediction: King 8-2 Klaasen

James Wade v Phil Taylor

I think Wade will be looking forward to this one more so than Taylor this week after his fantastic comeback against Barney last time out, and will want to send out a sign of intent to the rest of the pack.

However, if there’s one man who won’t want to show a sign of weakness, it’s Taylor. Although a draw isn’t exactly a bad result against `The Bull`- the ideal scenario for him would be to go through the tournament unbeaten. (A goal which I believe is a huge possibility incidentally!)

Wade fans I’m sure will fancy their chances of taking at least a point off Taylor this week should he reproduce the performance he gave in Coventry, but unfortunately I don’t see this happening purely because Phil won’t give him the chances that Barneveld did.

Phill’s prediction: Wade 5-8 Taylor


Terry Jenkins v Raymond Van Barneveld

And what a way to finish the evening! Things don’t get a lot easier for Barney do they? Wade, Taylor and Jenkins within the first four weeks and just a single point to his name which he will be slightly embarrassed about I’m sure, and Jenkins certainly won’t give away the points this week.

Very rarely does Jenkins produce poor darts, but sometimes doesn’t score highly enough. He might look back to Liverpool at the end of the competition and consider the draw against Klaasen as a point dropped, but he’s in a strong position now and won’t be frightened of Barneveld.

`The Bull` has drawn every game so far, and with Barney usually better under pressure, I foresee another point for the 2007 runner-up.

Phill’s prediction: Jenkins 7-7 Barneveld

With the competition now in full swing, and games getting tougher to predict as the weeks go by, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will qualify for the play-offs at this stage.

However, there are plenty of darts still to be thrown and more shocks to be witnessed, and that’s what makes this competition extra special; the fact that literally anything can happen.

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