Phil Taylor has fuelled the fire ahead of his Premier League clash with Kim Huybrechts at the Brighton Centre on Thursday evening, by claiming that whenever Huybrechts ‘jumps about’; he loses.
‘The Hurricane’ is well-renowned for his over-zealous celebrations, but ahead of their latest showdown, ‘The Power’ appeared to suggest that Kim’s antics are to the detriment of his game. “Kim’s a feisty player and he’s going to do his jumping around, but I’ve noticed that every time he jumps about, he gets beaten,” Taylor quipped.
The pair have been embroiled in an interesting rivalry since they met in the last 16 of the 2015 World Championship. Ahead of that clash, Taylor warned that there would be ‘trouble’ if the Belgian started jumping around, but the 16-time world champion survived a match dart to prevail 4-3 in a fiery affair.
The pair’s last meeting came in round-three of the 2017 World Championship. Ahead of the contest, Huybrechts insisted that he wasn’t deterred by Taylor’s criticism and reaffirmed that he would continue to show emotion on stage.
“Sometimes it is hard for me to control but I am the way I am and it has worked against me a little bit with the fans and with some players, so I am trying to find a middle way. As long as I am winning it doesn’t matter. I feel insecure on stage and that’s why I do the things I do on stage.
“I am focused and it is working. I will try to do the same things and I don’t really care what Phil Taylor says or does. Last year he tried to say something that would annoy me, but it’s not going to happen this year – I am going to play my own game, no war of words.”
Despite this, Taylor continued his impressive record against the Belgian to prevail 4-2. The 16-time world champion led 3-0 and appeared poised to secure a whitewash victory, but the 56-year-old survived a valiant fightback from Huybrechts to triumph.
Taylor boasts a dominant head-to-head record over ‘The Hurricane’. Huybrechts has won just one of their twelve meetings, with his solitary victory coming in a Pro Tour event back in October 2015. ‘The Power’ has won all five of their televised clashes, but Huybrechts will be determined to make amends in Brighton.
Huybrechts currently occupies one of the two elimination spots after enduring a stuttering start to his season. The Belgian has performed solidly but has been unable to transfer his displays into results.
He has claimed just one point from his opening three fixtures, and that came in an entertaining clash with Raymond van Barneveld. He has suffered defeat against both James Wade and Dave Chisnall and after suffering elimination on his Premier League debut in 2015, he’ll be desperate to avoid the same fate this time around.
By comparison, Taylor has made an excellent start to potentially his last ever Premier League campaign. He sits joint top of the table with Michael van Gerwen and James Wade after securing five points from his three matches against Chisnall, Wade and Van Barneveld respectively.
Elsewhere at the Brighton Centre on Thursday evening, defending champion Michael van Gerwen will aim to continue his unbeaten start when he faces two-time world champion Adrian Lewis, whilst world number two Gary Anderson takes on the unbeaten James Wade.
Peter Wright will hope to continue his magnificent form when he takes on his good friend and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in the night’s final match. Meanwhile, the evening kicks off with a potential relegation scrap between Dave Chisnall and Jelle Klaasen, with ‘The Cobra’ still searching for his first points of the season.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway Premier League
Night Four – Thursday February 23
The Brighton Centre
Dave Chisnall v Jelle Klaasen
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Kim Huybrechts
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright