Premier League 2017 - Preview Fifteenth Evening

THE battles for the final Betway Premier League Play-Off place and the League Winners' Bonus will both conclude as the league season ends at the GE Oil & Gas Arena in Aberdeen on Thursday.

Following over three months of competition across the UK, Ireland and Netherlands, the final league night sees four key matches taking place in Aberdeen. Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright are still competing for the 25,000 pound League Winner's Bonus, while Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall are in contention for the final Play-Off place.

The night opens as Chisnall meets James Wade, with the world number five needing a big victory over the 2009 Premier League champion if he is to put the pressure on Taylor. Chisnall is now unbeaten in his past six matches after making a late Play-Off charge, but admits: "I'm relying on other results but I'm still in with a chance and it should be exciting.

"It's been good in recent weeks and I've been feeling great. I've been playing well for a while now so we'll see what happens this week and hopefully I can play well again. "James is a top quality player, one of the best finishers in the game and I can't give him a chance. I've given people some chances recently and they've take it and I can't afford to do that with James."

A heavy win for Chisnall would then put the pressure on Taylor as the six-time Premier League champion bids to mark his farewell season before retirement with a Play-Off appearance.
"I'm in a good position but I've still got to perform," said Taylor, who overcame Van Gerwen last week in Sheffield. "I'm trying to get to The O2 and if I get there then it will be fantastic to be involved. "I'm not banking on anything because Adrian could come out and put in a massive performance - there's no pressure on him now that he can't qualify."

Second-placed Peter Wright then takes on Raymond van Barneveld - with the in-form Scot entering the final league night on a high after whitewashing Van Gerwen on Sunday on his way to a third European Tour title of 2017.
Wright sits a point behind Van Gerwen in his bid to top the league table, and having secured a top-four finish for the first time is now bidding to make history as only the third player to top the regular season's standings.

"I'm feeling really good," said Wright. "It's nice not to have the pressure on, having qualified with two weeks to go, but I still want to finish top - Michael's the best player in the game at the moment but I'm trying to push him. "I need to beat Barney to try and get that top spot and I'm looking at the two points. "Playing Barney in Scotland will be huge because the crowd treat him like one of their own. It should be a fantastic match with loads of noise from the crowd and singing because Aberdeen's a great crowd so I'm looking forward to it."

Van Gerwen, meanwhile, knows that a win in his clash with third-placed Gary Anderson will ensure that he tops the league table for a fifth straight year. The reigning Premier League champion hit a world record TV average of 123.40 in last year's visit to Aberdeen against Michael Smith, and is aiming to reproduce that form in a repeat of January's World Championship final.

"Last year was fantastic in Aberdeen and it's a great memory for me, but I have to focus on this week's game because Gary's in good form," said Van Gerwen. "He's won his last couple of matches so I know I've got to prepare myself. My aim was to finish top and it's still in my hands, so I'll do everything I can to achieve it this week."

Two-time Premier League champion Anderson, meanwhile, is eagerly anticipating the return to his native Scotland as he bids to enter the Play-Offs with a third successive win.
"I've got wins when I've needed to in the last two weeks and it's all about getting into the top four, but it will be really good to play Michael," said Anderson. "If I turn up, Michael knows what game he's going to get, and it's the same the other way around too. "He's in my country now and I'm looking forward to it. I played Barney in Holland this year and it was great to see the support behind him, and hopefully it will be the same for me too this week. "We don't get too many events in Scotland so it's always good to get back up there because the crowds are brilliant."

Play-Offs Permutations
/ Dave Chisnall
Must win to go level on 17 points with Phil Taylor, and then hope that Taylor loses by enough legs to give Chisnall a better Leg Difference.

Phil Taylor
Qualifies for the Play-Offs if Chisnall does not win.
If Chisnall wins, Taylor qualifies for the Play-Offs with a win or a draw. Will qualify 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, as Chisnall cannot Level with or overtake Taylor on Legs Won Against Throw, which would be the third differentiating factor (32-25).

Peter Wright
A draw puts him level on 22 points with Michael van Gerwen. He would then require Van Gerwen to lose 7-1 to leave Wright top.
A win puts him one point ahead of Van Gerwen.

Michael van Gerwen
Finishes top with a win.
If Wright wins 7-2, 7-3, 7-4 or 7-5, Van Gerwen only needs a draw to finish top.
If Wright wins 7-5 with six Legs Won Against Throw, Van Gerwen would need to draw with at least one Leg Won Against Throw.
If Wright draws, Van Gerwen only needs two legs to finish top (or three legs if Wright won all six legs against throw).

In addition, the places from fifth to eight - featuring Chisnall, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and James Wade - can also see movement on Thursday, with prize money for players not reaching the Play-Offs based on final finishing positions.

Fifteenth Night Matches
Dave Chisnall v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

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