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Article: Darts: Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts - Night Eight Preview

Darts: Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts - Night Eight Preview

Please find below a preview of Thursday’s Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts, to be held at the NIA in Birmingham on Thursday.

Attached, free for editorial use, is a picture from the meeting between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld at the Echo Arena, Liverpool last month. Please credit "Lawrence Lustig/PDC" where applicable.

Please note that this week’s Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts begins at 6.30pm GMT.


David Allen
PDC Media Officer

PHIL TAYLOR is preparing for his favourite challenge when he faces Raymond van Barneveld in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts on Thursday.

Taylor and van Barneveld have enjoyed a host of high-profile clashes since the Dutchman joined the PDC in 2006.

While Taylor has the edge in their Premier League meetings, van Barneveld defeated the Stoke legend in the 2007 World Darts Championship final and also at the Blue Square UK Open for the past three years.

They meet at the NIA in Birmingham on Thursday, and Taylor - the defending Premier League champion who sits second in the table at present - is expecting another classic.

"It^s a big game against Raymond, and always will be," said Taylor. "It^s a game people want to watch and the size of the crowds shows that.

"For me, it^s a game I love and I^d play Raymond every week if I could. I enjoy playing Raymond and he enjoys playing me - we bring the best out of each other."


defeated van Barneveld on the opening night of this year^s Premier League, but the Dutchman has had three wins and a draw in his last four matches to move into the top four.

"He^s a professional and he^s putting himself right," said Taylor. "I like that in him.

"Since Liverpool he^s been getting better and better - and my form has probably dropped a little so it^s going to be a tough game."

Van Barneveld, who also lost to Taylor in January^s World Championship final, is happy with his progression at the half-way stage of the Premier League.

"Phil beat me 7-1 in the World Championship final and a month later you^re preparing for 14 weeks of the Premier League and have to play him in week one," said the Dutchman.

"He was in top form then, but some other players have done well and taken points from him.

"If he^d beaten me in Liverpool and then beat all the other players that would be good but James Wade beat him and Terry and Mervyn drew with him, which wasn^t good for my position!

"I^m fourth and I^m aiming to be in the top four. After that it doesn^t matter who you play in the semi-finals - they are all world-class players.

"I^ve had three wins in four games now and I^m working hard in the gym and in practice, and it^s going well."

League leader James Wade, who has picked up five successive victories, meets three-time World Champion John Part at the NIA.

"I still don^t think I^m at my best so it^s great to have won the last five games," said Wade.

"The important thing is being in the top four, but I know from last year that being top of the table means I^m there for the rest to come and get me now!"

King seeks to end his run of two successive defeats in the opening game of the night in Birmingham, when he faces Wayne Mardle.

The night^s other game sees Terry Jenkins face Jelle Klaasen as "The Bull" meets "The Matador", with the young Dutchman still chasing his first victory of the campaign.

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts

Week Eight – NIA, Birmingham

Wayne Mardle v Mervyn King

Terry Jenkins v Jelle Klaasen

John Part v James Wade

Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld

Please Note 6.30pm start for this event

Tickets: 0871 945 6000

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