2012 Darts: Premier League Week 3 Preview

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2012 Darts: Premier League Week 3 Preview
Ian Walton/Getty Images
The Power and Barney renew their rivalry again this week in Belfast

It has been argued that in darts the Premier League is almost bigger than the Ladbrokes World Championship itself, and it's hard to disagree.

While the prestige of being world champion is greater, most darts fans have a preference for watching the top eight players battling it out each Thursday evening.

Anyone lucky enough to have been watching the Premier League last week will have seen another record bite the dust.

Phil Taylor treated the Aberdeen faithful to his 11th career nine-darter, and Belfast will be hoping for more of the same this week.

In the opener, Kevin Painter will hope to put his Week 2 loss to Phil Taylor behind him. If he's to do this, he will have to overcome unbeaten Aussie Simon Whitlock.

The Wizard will be looking for his second win in succession after thumping James Wade 8-4 last week.

The second game in Belfast offers a repeat of this year's Ladbrokes World Championship final.

Last month Adrian Lewis captured his second successive world championship, and Andy Hamilton will be hoping for a reverse of that meeting.

Scotsman and defending Premier League champion Gary Anderson tussles with James Wade in the third game of the night. Wade needs to find some form if he wants to lift himself off the bottom of the table.

Anderson is hardly the opponent to find form against. He will be confident after an 8-2 win against Hamilton last Thursday.

The best is kept for last as heavyweights Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld square off in the night's final game.

Taylor is fresh off another televised nine-darter. Van Barneveld, on the other hand, looked extremely sharp against Adrian Lewis in their 7-7 draw last week.

You know it's going to be a special game when the two men competing have won 20 world championships between them.

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