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Premier League Darts visits Cardiff on Thursday, as Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson double up at the Motorpoint Arena in their bids to secure places in the Play-Offs.
With just four league nights remaining before the top four players qualify for the semi-finals and final at The O2 next month, the visit to Wales can see two of the stars secure top-four finishes.
2013 Premier League champion van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall – the current top two – can both ensure their Play-Off spots on Thursday, while Anderson could go close to mathematically securing a semi-final place if he was to win both of his games.
World Champion Anderson opens the night against Stephen Bunting before returning to face world number one van Gerwen in the evening’s final game at a sold-out Motorpoint Arena.
“I’m giving it my best but the standard of players now is phenomenal and it’s getting harder every year, so I can’t think about the Play-Offs yet, I’ve got to concentrate on making the top four first,” said Anderson.
“I still think I need another two to four points to be safe so it’s a big night. I don’t mind playing twice and hopefully I can get a good result.”
Van Gerwen had seen his ten-game unbeaten record ended by Raymond van Barneveld in Aberdeen last week, but plays James Wade and Anderson in Cardiff and knows that he could secure his top four place with at least one win on the night.
“It was disappointing to lose last week but it’s always hard to be at your best for the whole season,” said van Gerwen. “I’m still at the top of the table and this is a new week, and it’s a big night to be playing twice.
“I’ve got two important games and I’ll have to make sure I’m ready for both of them because James and Gary have played really well this season and you can’t afford to give them any chances.”
High-flying Chisnall could also seal a Play-Off place with a win in Cardiff – but he takes on in-form van Barneveld as the reigning Betway Premier League champion looks to pick up a third straight victory to boost his own semi-final hopes.
“Every week’s like a final and I have to keep having good results if I’m going to make the top four,” said van Barneveld. “There’s nothing wrong with my game, the belief is coming back and I’m battling every single week.
“I’ve picked up seven points in the last five weeks when I’ve been playing against Phil, Michael and Gary, so there’s no reason why I can’t get a result against Dave.
“Dave’s having an amazing Premier League so far and he’s fantastic. He’s had some great performances so far, but he’s beatable – Phil beat him last week – and I’ve got to put him under pressure, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The night also sees Stoke rivals Taylor and Adrian Lewis continue their fight to claim a top-four finish as they meet in Cardiff.
Taylor bounced back to form by picking up a win and a draw as he doubled up in Aberdeen last week, and he holds fourth place a point ahead of Lewis and two clear of Wade and van Barneveld going into Week 12.
“I’m working hard and I’m focused on making the Play-Offs, and with it being so close it’s given us all a kick up the backside, which doesn’t do you any harm,” said Taylor.
“The three points last week was really good for me but it’s still interesting and I’m concentrating hard.”
Lewis, meanwhile, is on a three-game winning streak as he travels to Cardiff after reigniting his season with a Judgement Night win over Peter Wright earlier this month.
“I’m in the battle but Phil’s coming back to form at the right time too,” said Lewis. “I was practising with him last week and he’s hitting 180s for fun and I think it’s going to be between me and him to make the top four.
“It’s certainly a big game and I’ll be up for it, but I’ve got to go up there and do a job. I’m feeling really confident with my new darts at the moment and I feel like I can beat anybody.”
Thursday’s visit to Wales is a 4,000 sell-out at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, before the action continues on Thursday April 30 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham – tickets are still available via 0844 338 8000 or www theticketfactory.com.
Betway Premier League
Night 12, Thursday April 23
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Stephen Bunting v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: Sold Out