WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis is looking to wrap up a place in the 888.com Premier League Darts Play-Offs when the tournament visits the BIC in Bournemouth on Thursday.

Lewis is one of five players battling for the two remaining places alongside Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson in the Premier League’s Play-Offs at the Wembley Arena on May 19, going into the final two league nights.

While Raymond van Barneveld needs just a point from his final two matches to ensure a semi-final place, Lewis and 2009 winner James Wade travel to Bournemouth locked on 11 points, one ahead of Simon Whitlock and three clear of Terry Jenkins.

Lewis sits fourth with superior leg difference to Wade, and takes on Jenkins in Bournemouth as he seeks to secure his top-four finish – and believes that a place in the semi-finals in a fortnight is his to lose.

“I needed a win last week against Simon Whitlock and I did a good job to beat him 8-5, and I’ve got to go on and beat Terry now,” said Lewis.

“I think I’ve got a good draw playing Terry Jenkins and Gary Anderson and it’s the best run-in out of the players fighting for fourth.

“James Wade and Simon Whitlock have to play Phil Taylor, and I can’t see them getting anything there. I think Barney has done enough now to qualify alongside Phil and Gary and I’ll take fourth place.”

Lewis had averaged 105 in a brilliant 8-3 win over van Barneveld at the BIC last season, and added: “I’ve got good memories of Bournemouth from last year and really enjoyed playing there, and I hope I can play well again on Thursday.”

Jenkins could still qualify should Lewis, Wade and Whitlock lose their final two games, but admitted: “It’s an uphill battle for me.

“I’ve probably left it too late to put a run together but I’ll give it my best shot against Adrian and James and see what I can do.”

Meanwhile, Wade is hoping to extend his unbeaten run to five matches when he faces Taylor in a repeat of last year’s final.

Wade sat at the foot of the Premier League table at the half-way stage, but followed three victories with a draw against van Barneveld in Liverpool last week.

The left-hander admitted: “It’s a massive match for me but I’ve had some good results recently and I’m playing well, and I can feel how close my game is to being great again.

“I love playing against Phil and I’ve performed well against him before, so there’s no reason why I can’t on Thursday.”

Whitlock, meanwhile, has dropped to sixth in the table after suffering defeats in his last three matches, but is looking to inflict Mark Webster’s ninth straight loss when they clash in Bournemouth.

“I was disappointed with how I played against Adrian last week, but I know I have to win against Mark to give myself the chance of reaching the Play-Offs,” said Whitlock.

“I’m focused on that and I’ve been practising hard this week to make that happen. I’ll just concentrate on my game and hopefully if I win it can put pressure on the other players.”

The night’s other game sees Anderson – whose top-four place was confirmed last week despite a loss to Taylor – meet van Barneveld, who was denied a win against Wade last week when the left-hander took out 138 in the deciding leg.

Bournemouth’s BIC will welcome a sold-out crowd of around 3,500 for Thursday’s event, which will begin at 7pm and is screened live on Sky Sports HD.

888.com Premier League Darts
May 5 – B.I.C., Bournemouth

Simon Whitlock v Mark Webster
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld 
Terry Jenkins v Adrian Lewis
James Wade v Phil Taylor

888sport.com Match Odds
Simon Whitlock 1/2, Draw 4/1, Mark Webster 10/3
Gary Anderson 5/6, Draw 15/4, Raymond van Barneveld 15/8
Terry Jenkins 21/10, Draw 4/1, Adrian Lewis 8/11
James Wade 9/2, Draw 5/1, Phil Taylor 1/3

Source – PDC/Lawrence Lustig

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