The fixtures for the second stage of the 2018 Unibet Premier League have been confirmed, and Dutch rivals Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld will clash at Rotterdam Ahoy in one of two huge nights in the Netherlands.
Following the elimination of Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price on Judgement Night last week, the remaining eight players will battle it out for a place in the play-offs at the O2 Arena in May.
Four of the next six league nights will feature five fixtures, with two players competing twice, as the players feature in Sheffield, a double-header in Rotterdam and in Manchester. The final two league nights in Birmingham and Aberdeen will then see four fixtures take place as the play-off race concludes.
This Thursday’s visit to Sheffield will see Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright double-up. Van Barneveld kicks off the evening’s proceedings against Daryl Gurney, whilst Wright takes on his fellow Scot Gary Anderson. Barney and ‘Snakebite’ then return to lock horns in the evening’s finale.
The other two fixtures feature the four players currently in a play-off position. World number one Michael van Gerwen meets Simon Whitlock, whilst second-placed Michael Smith takes on world champion Rob Cross, who currently occupies third position.
The Premier League roadshow then heads to Rotterdam for a huge double-header next week. The first of two nights see Rob Cross and Gary Anderson facing a brace of fixtures. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ takes on his protégé Michael Smith in the evening’s curtain-raiser, whilst Cross collides with World Grand Prix champion Gurney.
Five-time world champion Van Barneveld is sure to receive a rapturous reception as he faces Simon Whitlock on home soil, whilst the top two players in the world collide as Van Gerwen takes on Peter Wright. Cross and Anderson then return to contest the final match of the evening- in a battle of the world champions.
However, the second night at the Rotterdam Ahoy will be headlined with a huge Dutch Derby between Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld, in arguably the biggest game ever staged in the Netherlands. The night’s other notable fixture sees world champion Cross play last year’s finalist Wright.
Simon Whitlock and Daryl Gurney are in action twice on the second visit to Rotterdam. Whitlock kicks off the action against play-off chasing Smith, whilst Gurney locks horns with two-time Premier League winner Anderson. Gurney and Whitlock then collide in the evening’s fifth and final tie, in a repeat of last year’s World Grand Prix final.
Defending champion Van Gerwen doubles up as the tournament heads to Manchester, as he faces Gurney and Smith. ‘Bully Boy’ is also in action twice, as he meets Wright in the night’s opener. Elsewhere, Van Barneveld and Cross collide in a battle of the world champions, whilst Whitlock plays Anderson.
The penultimate night of group-phase action takes place in Birmingham, with four high-quality fixtures in prospect. Nevertheless, the main event sees world champion Cross face Van Gerwen, in a repeat of their classic World Championship semi-final at the Alexandra Palace.
The other three fixtures see Wright take on Whitlock, Smith take on Gurney, before former Premier League winners Anderson and Van Barneveld do battle in the evening’s finale at Arena Birmingham,
The race for the play-offs then culminates with a star-studded night at the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen. Home hero Anderson locks horns against Van Gerwen, following their classic encounter in Newcastle earlier in the campaign. Anderson’s fellow Scot Wright will also receive partisan home support when he takes on Gurney.
The evening begins with a clash between Smith and Van Barneveld, whilst Cross and Whitlock collide in the final group-phase fixture of the season. The top four players from the league table will then progress to compete in the semi-finals and final at the O2 Arena on Thursday 17th May.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2018 Unibet Premier League
Nights Ten-15 Fixtures
Night Ten – April 12
The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
Night 11 – April 18
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
Night 12 – April 19
Simon Whitlock v Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney v Simon Whitlock
Night 13 – April 26
The Manchester Arena
Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
Night 14 – May 3
Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith
Rob Cross v Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Night 15 – May 10
The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Rob Cross
Play-Offs – May 17
The O2, London