PETER WRIGHT faces a huge night in his Betway Premier League season as he doubles up against Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Thursday.
Wright has enjoyed a memorable 2017 so far, winning March’s UK Open amongst five tournament victories alongside a Premier League season which currently sees him sat in second place in the league table.
The Scot will come up against the world’s top two ranked players in Liverpool, as he firstly takes on current Premier League leader Van Gerwen before returning to the stage to play two-time World Champion Anderson.
“It’s a big night for me,” said Wright. “Every point is vital and you can’t relax.
“I’m playing pretty well and I’ve been putting so much work in this year and we’re all pushing forward. Everyone starts playing well now because the Play-Offs are in sight.”
Anderson opens the night against Dave Chisnall, who sits six points behind the top four after ending his three-game losing run with a draw against Wright in Dublin last week.
St Helens-born Chisnall averaged a season-best 106.40 and hit seven 180s against Wright, and is hoping to maintain that form in front of his ‘home’ crowd on Merseyside.
“It’s special, it’s probably one of my favourites to go to,” he said. “I’ll try to do what I did in Dublin and hopefully I get the two points.
“I’m trying and I’ll never write off being in the top four, but I’ve got to put games to bed. If I’m 6-3 up I’ve got to win them so I’ll work on that because I slacked off against Peter.
“My darts were straight, though, and that’s what I wanted – not going into the fives and ones. The 180s aren’t a problem – I can hit them when I’m playing really bad – but for me it’s keeping the dart straight and keeping it fluent.
“I’m feeling great at the moment and playing a lot better than I have done.”
Third-placed Raymond van Barneveld comes up against Adrian Lewis in a game which sees two form players clash in another big Play-Off battle.
2014 Premier League champion Van Barneveld admitted: “I’m playing well and to win five games out of six is amazing. I’m still there and I’m not giving up.
“Adrian’s playing well. For a few weeks he wasn’t playing his A-game, but he won a floor tournament the other weekend, and if he hits his triples and his doubles he is hard to beat.
“You know there aren’t any easy matches now. Adrian’s head is right and at the moment he thinks he can win.”
Lewis, meanwhile, sits just two points behind the top four after winning four of his last five matches.
“Every game’s different and I know if I turn up I’ve got a good chance, but I’ve had some belters with Raymond in the past,” said Lewis, who overcame Anderson 7-3 last week.
“He beat me 7-5 the other week and then the same weekend we played in a tournament and I beat him 6-1. It should have been a draw the last time we met, so I’ll make sure I put that right.
“Everybody knows what’s at stake and everybody’s fighting for their life really. Gary knew I wasn’t going to be a walkover in Dublin and Raymond knows I’ll be after him.”
The night in Liverpool, which will be held in front of 8,000 fans, will also see two former Premier League champions clash as six-time winner Phil Taylor comes up against 2009 title holder James Wade.
A small number of tickets remain available for Thursday’s event, and can be purchased by calling 0844 8000 400 or via www.echoarena.co.uk.
Betway Premier League
Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via www.echoarena.co.uk
Tournament Winner – After Night Ten
1/2 Michael van Gerwen
11/2 Peter Wright
6/1 Gary Anderson
14/1 Phil Taylor
16/1 Raymond van Barneveld
25/1 Adrian Lewis
200/1 James Wade, Dave Chisnall
Night 11 Match Odds
4/7 Gary Anderson
100/30 Dave Chisnall
2/5 Michael van Gerwen
5/1 Peter Wright
6/4 Adrian Lewis
5/4 Raymond van Barneveld
8/11 Phil Taylor
11/4 James Wade
6/4 Peter Wright
5/4 Gary Anderson