The Premier League of Darts roadshow speeds on down the M6 to the south coast for its next stop, after a scintillating opening night in Liverpool.
The action for Week 2 takes place on Thursday, Feb 13, at the BIC Bournemouth.
On the night, Wes Newton challenges the great Raymond van Barneveld, while Dave Chisnall battles World Championship finalist Peter Wright. Also on the bill, 2011 champion Gary Anderson fights Simon Whitlock, Adrian Lewis faces a slimmed-down Phil Taylor in a Stoke derby match, and Robert Thornton attempts to defeat the brilliant Michael van Gerwen.
|Wes Newton||vs.||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Dave Chisnall||vs.||Peter Wright|
|Gary Anderson||vs.||Simon Whitlock|
|Adrian Lewis||vs.||Phil Taylor|
|Robert Thornton||vs.||Michael van Gerwen|
Current champion van Gerwen destroyed legend Taylor 7-0 during the opening night on Merseyside, overpowering his opponent and showing no mercy. The player tweeted about how much he was looking forward to the second week of action:
As reported by Sky Sports, Wayne Mardle commented that the multiple-time world champion Taylor had lost too much weight before the event, thus aiding his defeat, and that a recent change in The Power's darts worked against him. Mardle said:
It's only my opinion but losing as much weight as he has in six or seven weeks is no good. But the main thing for me is the change of darts. They were going in weak and at an angle. And with Michael not missing as well, it was a combination of all those things. Michael actually said before we came up here that Phil did not look confident.
Taylor will be looking to get his Premier League ambitions back on track after such a crushing defeat by the new golden boy of darts. His compatriot Lewis will offer him a stern test. A second defeat would be hugely disappointing for the icon and compromise his potential for lifting this year's trophy.
Even though Taylor's popularity with the public is still very high, it is van Gerwen that the Bournemouth crowd will be paying to come and see, to witness his all-action style and dynamism.
The Dutchman is currently in a league of his own and simply cannot be touched. Even though Taylor was badly out of form in Liverpool it is unprecedented to see the great man whitewashed by any fellow professional.
Van Gerwen is on top of the world at the moment, and it is highly unlikely Thornton will be able to live with him in his current mood. Thornton does not have the game to be able to face off against a player who currently looks unbeatable. This match could end up as another whitewash, and van Gerwen will be expected to steam ahead into Week 3.
In another interesting tie, one of the wildcards of this year's league—Gary Anderson—gets the opportunity to turn the heat on Simon Whitlock. However, Whitlock's experience and ability to fight his way out of a battle should see him over the line.
The Australian has improvements to make in the competition, having nearly made the play-offs in last year's tournament.
It promises to be yet another amazing night of top class professional darts, before we head across the Irish Sea to Belfast for Week 3 of the event.