Week two of the Betway Premier League of darts kicks off this Thursday evening at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. It also see’s the return of Gary Anderson as he missed week one due to being ruled out through illness. It will be interesting to see what kind of form the reigning Premier League Champion will bring to the stage as he takes on world number one Michael van Gerwen.
The rest of the second round fixtures are as follows:
Michael Smith V Robert Thornton
After a disappointing start to the Premier League last week, Michael and Robert both will be looking to prove a point this Thursday night. We all know what these two men are capable of so I think it’s just a matter of time before they produce the brilliance they are well known for. Speaking of brilliance, Michael had an impressive weekend at the UK Open Qualifiers as he reached 2/3 quarter finals. Not failing to mention a staggering second round game on Sunday’s qualifier were he had two 12 darters and four 11 darters to claim a 6-0 victory over Jermaine Wattimena. If that isn’t proof what he’s capable of, I don’t know what is. Robert, unfortunately wasn’t as successful as he had early exits on the second and third day of qualifiers, but had a good run on the first day of qualifiers, reaching the last 16 stages. None of these men want to be at the bottom of the leaderboard so this should be an interesting head to head.
Raymond van Barneveld V Peter Wright
Going off last weeks Premier League debut, this should be a very good match. Both players had 7-2 wins over their opponent and both players had good checkout percentages with Raymond’s being that bit more incredible with a startling 78% and the highest overall three dart average of the night being 103.60. Will this see him as having an advantage going into the match? Raymond and Peter had a good weekend at the UK Open Qualifiers with the best performance being from Peter who got to the semi final stages of the tournament on day one. On his way to the semi final stages, Peter narrowly beat Raymond in one of the quarter finals with a 6-5 defeat. Will Raymond be back for revenge? Either way this game will make for great viewing.
Adrian Lewis V Dave Chisnall
Adrian and Dave both had a great start to the Premier League last week with a 7-1 win for Adrain and a 7-0 victory for Dave. Other than having claimed two great triumphs, both men also had impressive checkout percentages with Chisnall only allowing Thornton one dart at a double during a fantastic performance and Adrain managed to take six consecutive legs to overcome an out of sorts Michael Smith. Adrian also had a great weekend at the first PDC Pro Tour event of the year by winning the Coral UK Open Qualifier one. Chizzy was also impressive as he reached the last 16 stages on the three days of qualifiers. This should be a very tight match as both men are playing superb at the minute with Adrian winning one of the UK Open qualifiers and Dave recently getting beat in the final of the Unibet Masters.
Gary Anderson V Michael van Gerwen
When you put the world number one and the world number two on stage at the same time, there’s going to be fireworks, and we expect nothing less from these two as Gary takes to the Premier League stage for the first time in 2016 after having to withdraw from last weeks first night of action due to illness. The only problem with this is that Michael has had a full weekend of tungsten action whereas Gary has been off resting himself due to his ill health. Will this be an insight to what we are to expect from their game on Thursday night, or will Gary have been practicing to make up for lost time. Gary may use the fact that Michael got beat last Thursday night 7-4 by an in form James Wade to his advantage. Michael wasn’t long fighting back from this defeat as he stormed past Alan Norris in the final of the second day of the UK Open Qualifiers, also narrowly missing out on winning the third day of qualifiers to a stunning performance from Phil Taylor. This should be the highlight game of the night.
James Wade V Phil Taylor
Referring back to last weeks Premier League debut, James Wade is the one who came out on top out of these two as James won his game against Michael van Gerwen and Phil got beat by Raymond van Barneveld. James also had an impressive three dart average and checkout percentage of 54, whilst it wasn’t the highest of the night, it was still better than Phil’s 33%. Phil’s luck was to change as he took the title of the Coral UK Open Qualifier on the third day. Also with a great run to the final on the first day but missing out to an incredible Adrian Lewis. Despite recent dispute, Phil Taylor is not to be taken lightly and his form at the weekend has proved that. Another great game to look forward to darting fans.
By Hayley Gurney