Premier League Darts Week Two Preview
Week one of Premier League darts kicked off last week, from Belfast, with the stars of the sport showcasing the best in Arena tungsten.
Week two sees the circus travel across the Irish sea to Aberdeen. And perhaps wisely the two Scottish stars of this year’s league, Robert Thornton and Gary Anderson, come up against non-Englishmen.
Ever since an incident involving Adrian Lewis and a chucked coin, then World Champ Lewis faced Scotland’s Gary Anderson in Glasgow that night, the PDC have been very careful to schedule Scots against non-English competitors in the Premier League.
It’s sad that this scheduling arrangement is necessary, but unfortunately it is.
So Thornton will play Michael van Gerwen, who had chances to record his first victory in the league against Phil Taylor last week. Taylor came back from 3-1 down to earn a draw.
So, to the surprise of some, it is Robert Thornton - he played beat Andy Hamilton 7-5 on night one - who goes into this one on the back of a victory, and he’ll be no push over against the hottest star in darts. In fact the hottest star in darts could be about to learn just how tough the league is, facing Robert Thornton in Aberdeen.
Fresh off the back of a World Cup victory for England, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis will put aside their friendship and fight it out for their first wins, respectively, of the season.
Raymond van Barneveld was the most impressive performer on week one, and as a crowd favourite in Aberdeen - perhaps more so than anywhere else outside the Netherlands - Wes Newton will have a tough time recording his first win. If he starts with two losses on the trot he could find himself in a hole with relegation week fast approaching.
Gary Anderson had his moments against Barney last week, but ultimately stopped short. And if he needed reminding how relentlessly unforgiving the league is, he now has to face Simon Whitlock, European Champ and conqueror of Adrian Lewis last week. Perhaps his home crowd will offer the inspiration he needs to put his first points on the table.
James Wade has started Premier League seasons poorly in previous years, relying on a late surge to qualify for the playoffs, perhaps that’s about to change. He dispatched Wes Newton in Belfast and looked as pumped up on the oche as he has been in a long while; great news for anyone who wants to see Wade return to his best.
February 14, AECC, Aberdeen
Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
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