WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH IN STORE AS ANDERSON RETURNS TO SCOTLAND
ADRIAN LEWIS is hoping to wreck Gary Anderson^s Scottish homecoming when the 888.com Premier League Darts visits the SECC in Glasgow on Thursday.
Lewis defeated Anderson in the World Championship final in January, hitting a nine-darter on his way to winning the biggest prize in darts.
The duo will meet for the first time since that game in Thursday^s Premier League encounter, with Anderson expecting a raucous welcome from 6,500 fans in Glasgow.
Lewis, though, is hoping to silence the home support early on by continuing the form which saw him power to an 8-2 victory against Simon Whitlock a week ago.
"I^ve beaten Gary in the World Championship final and I^ve beaten him a fair few times off TV too," said Lewis. "In front of his home crowd it^s going to be tough but I^ve got to try and block them out.
"It will be one heck of an atmosphere and I^m sure I^ll get plenty of booing, but you take it on the chin. If you start off badly and the crowd start getting to you then you^re in trouble, but if you start well and your confidence is high then it doesn^t bother you.
"I dug in well last week and played well and if I play to my ability again in Glasgow, I will win."
Anderson had performed superbly throughout the World Championship at Alexandra Palace, only to fall short in the final as Lewis produced his finest televised display.
The Scot has, though, won four of his opening five Premier League Darts games and was only defeated 8-6 by Phil Taylor last week in Manchester.
"If I can get revenge on Adrian for the World Championship it^s going to be sweet," said Anderson. "Adrian deserved to win that game and played superbly but it will be different on Thursday.
"I^ll be really nervous in Glasgow. The only thing I want to do is play really well, because if I go up there and play terribly there^s nowhere to hide.
"I^ve had plenty of stick in the first few weeks from the English crowds but it doesn^t bother me - the more they shout, the more I want to beat the guy I^m playing. It will be weird having it the other way and them supporting me but it^s a great honour to represent Scotland in the Premier League and to play in Glasgow this week."
Taylor^s win over Anderson saw him draw level with the Scot at the top of the table and also came following a return to using the darts which he hit two nine-dart finishes with in last year^s Premier League Darts final.
"I keep changing and trying new things, but I prefer the old darts to be honest," said Taylor, who plays Simon Whitlock on Thursday.
"I^m enjoying the game at the moment and loving the challenge of getting back to my best.
"Simon has made a massive impact in the last two years and he will be a great battle in Glasgow, which is a venue that has one of the best atmospheres that we play in. If you can play there, you can play anywhere, and I^m really looking forward to it."
Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld won his third game of the season last week, overcoming 2009 Premier League champion James Wade 8-2, and also reached the final of a UK Open Qualifier on Sunday, narrowly missing double 12 for a nine-dart finish in the process.
"Every week is really tough and I^ve got to be on top of my game in each match," said van Barneveld.
"I outscored Phil Taylor two weeks ago but missed my doubles and got beaten, but last week I hit my doubles better and won against James. I played well at the weekend and my confidence is growing all the time."
Van Barneveld plays left-hander Mark Webster in Glasgow, having lost all three previous games against the Welshman.
"I played Mark in the third-fourth play-off in the 2010 World Championship and in the Singles games in the World Cup Final last year, as well as in Germany in a Players Championship in January, but I^ve never beaten him so I hope this week it can be my turn to win.," said van Barneveld.
"I hadn^t beaten Simon Whitlock in four previous games before we played in the second week of the Premier League but I managed to win, and I^ve just got to play my own game against Mark hit my big scores and doubles and the result will take care of itself."
The night^s other game in Scotland sees Wade - who sits at the foot of the table with just one win from his first five games - play Terry Jenkins, who enjoyed his best performance of the season in defeating Webster 8-4 last week.
"I need to stay relaxed and not put myself under too much pressure," said Jenkins. "James, in a way, is the same as me in the Premier League and has been inconsistent, although I^ve been playing quite well in the last couple of weeks.
"I was a bit more determined against Mark and stayed relaxed, and tried to stay focused. Even when I got my seventh leg last week against Mark and knew I^d got at least a draw I didn^t celebrate or ease off because I knew I had to push on and get the win.
"I^ve been in some good form recently and if I can get a good start against James it will be important."
Around 6,500 tickets have been sold for the 888.com Premier League Darts at Glasgow^s SECC, which will be screened live on Sky Sports HD1 from 7pm and live to PDCtv Subscribers (outside of the UK & Ireland) through www.pdc.tv.
888.com Premier League Darts
Week Six - SECC, Glasgow
Terry Jenkins v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Mark Webster
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Match Odds (courtesy 888sport.com)
Terry Jenkins 13/8, James Wade Evs, Draw 7/2
Raymond van Barneveld Evs, Mark Webster 13/8, Draw 7/2
Simon Whitlock 3/1, Draw 15/4, Phil Taylor 4/7
Gary Anderson 17/20, Draw 7/2, Adrian Lewis 15/8