With just three weeks and four dates left in the 2014 Premier League Darts regular season, the sport's most prominent figures enter the most intense phases of their campaign.
Heading into Thursday's Manchester meeting, Michael van Gerwen remains perched atop the standings, hoping to defend a priority placement as we move toward the playoffs.
Read on for a breakdown of all the vital viewing information for this week's clashes, as well as a look at some of the key fixtures on the schedule.
|2014 Premier League Darts Standings|
|1||Michael van Gerwen||12||8||2||2||+22||18|
|2||Raymond van Barneveld||12||6||5||1||+18||17|
Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports 1
Live Stream: Sky Go app (subscription required)
|2014 Premier League Darts: Manchester Fixtures|
|Player 1||VS.||Player 2|
|Robert Thornton||vs.||Peter Wright|
|Gary Anderson||vs.||Phil Taylor|
|Raymond van Barneveld||vs.||Adrian Lewis|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs.||Dave Chisnall|
|Gary Anderson||vs.||Robert Thornton|
Gary Anderson vs. Phil Taylor
Now sitting fourth in the standings, it feels as though Phil Taylor had us all duped at the start of the 2014 season simply in order to spice things up a bit.
Having lost four of his first five fixtures, the Stoke-on-Trent native has gone unbeaten in his last six, the most recent of which was a win over Van Gerwen last week. PDC Darts World shows just how decisive that victory was:
Now, Taylor takes on Gary Anderson in a battle of fourth versus fifth, respectively, the Scot just one point below Taylor and looking to gain an edge in the race to a playoff spot.
With just a point separating the pair, this fixture will have a massive bearing on which of these two players, if either, makes it into the post-season action.
Raymond van Barneveld vs. Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis's plummet through the Premier League standings of late has made for difficult viewing at times, with two of his three most recent losses coming in a nightmarish Aberdeen outing last week.
After Anderson got the better of "Jackpot," PDC Darts World show that Van Gerwen recovered from his defeat against Taylor to bounce back in style:
However, a sad night was made even worse thanks to some of those in attendance, as Lewis stated through his official Twitter account:
Second-placed Van Barneveld won't make for much easier company, and Lewis risks seeing his playoff hopes come to an end should he suffer a fourth defeat in a row.
Michael van Gerwen vs. Dave Chisnall
Having been somewhat fortunate to avoid elimination on Judgement Night several weeks ago, Dave Chisnall is now just three points away from the top four of the Premier League, but he comes under heavy fire from Van Gerwen on Thursday.
The Dutchman has still lost just two matches all season, one of which came to Taylor in Aberdeen, but that defeat will have undoubtedly helped in perking up the sleeping giant if nought else.
Now, Chisnall faces a "Mighty Mike" all too aware that the slightest slip-up could mean him falling from the top of the table, which isn't the mood in which one should be looking to take on the reigning champion.
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