3 Reasons Why Taylor Won’t Win the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League Darts

Jamie Shaw from Bettingpro.com looks at this years Premier League Darts and explains to us why the defending and multiple Champion won’t capture the 2013 Premier League title.

Not His Year? – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

In common with the majority of PDC majors over the past 20 years, Phil Taylor has made the Premier League his own, but in the most fiercely competitive league to date, The Power now has his work cut out.

The Stoke maestro has lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of six of the eight previous campaigns, ending the regular season top of the table on each occasion, but that record has been brought to an end by a certain young Dutchman this year.

The revamped road-show event saw ten of the world’s top stars start out, before Gary Anderson and Wes Newton were relegated in week nine after occupying the bottom two place, while the top four advance to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena on May 16.

Of those ten players, five picked up at least one major televised title in 2012 and the close proximity of the field has made it one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in recent history.

Taylor’s revenge victory over his recent nemesis Robert Thornton in Liverpool was enough for him to seal his Play-Off progression, but with first place now out of the equation, his showdown with James Wade in Newcastle will determine his finishing position.

Here are our top three reasons why the 16 times World Champion will not collect the Premier League title in 2013:

1. Double Dutch in the Play-Offs

Taylor looks to be on a collision course with deadly Dutch duo Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen on finals night, offering up what would be his toughest Play-Off test to date.

Two wins for van Barneveld and a heavy van Gerwen defeat to Thornton could see Barney snatch top spot, meaning he would avoid Taylor in the semis, unless The Power was to end the campaign in fourth place.

As it stands, arch rivals Taylor and Barney look set to finish in third and second spot respectively, and would therefore clash at the O2 Arena, with Barney out to better his 6-6 draw three weeks ago by beating the world number one for the first time in this competition.

Van Gerwen is without doubt the hottest property in world darts at the moment, and the deadly 24-year-old has taken the league by storm in his debut season, not to mention inflicting two defeats on Taylor in as many days at the start of last month.

His relentless power scoring, improved finishing and fearless attitude could overpower Taylor in the final reckoning, and facing up to a 12,000-strong crowd should not be problem for the world number two.

2. Tinkering with the tungsten

Taylor, much like old rival van Barneveld, has altered his setup on numerous occasions over the years. He trialled new barrels at the start of this season, suggesting he is indecisive about which tungsten configuration will produce the best results.

Taylor has switched between slick stick stems and slimmer barrels in order to create more room in the treble bed and find the correct weight in the double 16 area.

But as the saying goes: ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’

3. Fading invincibility

At the emphatic peak of his dominance from around 2002 to 2010, The Power was the most feared opponent in the sport, with most players beaten before they stepped on stage to face him.

Now, with the vastly improved strength in-depth of the field around him, and notably having lost more games this season (four) than any other in Premier League history, his rivals feel that he is beatable.

Uncharacteristic missed doubles have cost him dear in a host of fixtures so far, with opponents knowing they must take their chances when they arrive, and unlike his trademark self, attempts at key doubles with the last dart in hand have not been dispatched as predatory as usual.

Despite these potential stumbling blocks, one thing we’ve learned not to do in recent years is write off Phil Taylor and the joint 13/8 outright favourite is sure to be in contention for a seventh Premier League crown at the O2 Arena on May 16.

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