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Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

Simon Whitlock is on the verge of sealing a McCoy’s Premier League Play-Off place, while James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld remain in strong contention for a top four finish when the tournament reaches Birmingham’s NIA on Thursday.

Whitlock, who is in second place, has 14 points so far and needs just one more against Andy Hamilton to secure a semi-final spot. ‘The Wizard’ could still be guaranteed a place even if he suffers defeat, but the Australian ace is out to ensure that it doesn’t come to that.

He said: “14 points might be enough in the end but I don’t want to find out. I’ve got two more games left and I want to be getting another two points at the least. I’ve put myself in great position to reach the Play-Offs. Now I need to make sure I finish the job.”

Wade, who won the tournament in 2009, sits behind Whitlock in third place, with twelve points to his name. ‘The Machine’ faces runaway leader Phil Taylor, who has already qualified for finals night, on the penultimate week of the league stage.

Photo: Lawerence Lustig/PDC

“I’ve had good results against Phil in the Premier League before and I’m looking forward to playing him on Thursday,” said Wade, who reached the final of the weekend’s Austrian Open in Wiener Neustadt.

“I’m feeling good and I’m fairly happy with my form. I’ve won one and drawn two of my last three games and maybe if I’d turned those draws into wins I’d be safe now, but I’ll give it my best on Thursday.”

Van Barneveld is up against reigning champion Gary Anderson, as the Dutchman bids to take the Play-Off race down to the final week with a positive result against ‘The Flying Scotsman’.

Kevin Painter takes on Adrian Lewis in the other match of the evening.

By Chris Murphy

Latest League Table

P W D L +/- Pts
Phil Taylor 12 10 1 1 +44 21
Simon Whitlock 12 6 2 4 +1 14
James Wade 12 5 2 5 +1 12
Adrian Lewis 12 4 4 4 -1 12
Raymond van Barneveld 12 4 3 5 -11 11
Kevin Painter 12 4 1 7 -10 9
Andy Hamilton 12 2 5 5 -11 9
Gary Anderson 12 3 2 7 -13 8


MODUS Player permutations

SIMON WHITLOCK – Qualifies for Play-Offs with a draw or win. Can still secure his place in Play-Offs if he loses, if either Wade or van Barneveld also suffer defeat.

JAMES WADE – Can qualify for Play-Offs if he wins and van Barneveld loses. If he draws, he would need at least a draw against van Barneveld on final week. If he is beaten, he would need to avoid defeat against van Barneveld in Newcastle.

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD – Needs to avoid defeat as he would be eliminated if both Wade and Lewis win. A draw or victory for ‘Barney’ means he would take the Play-Off race to the final week.

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