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Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - MVG out to reclaim top spot

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 23 Mar 2017
The Dutch duo embrace following their epic World Championship Semi-Final (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen aims to return to the summit of the Premier League table by overcoming Dutch comrade Raymond van Barneveld in Manchester on Thursday night.

Watch and bet on Van Barneveld vs Van Gerwen live at Bet365 > Sports > Live streaming Darts


A busy evening at the office for MVG sees him contest two matches following his absence due to injury three weeks ago, and the Dutch star has his sights set on reclaiming top spot.

Van Gerwen starts the night in second spot, one point adrift of leader Peter Wright and is bidding to maintain his unbeaten start to the campaign, having picked up ten points from a possible 12 so far.

The world number one follows up his clash with James Wade with an all-Dutch affair against his World Cup team-mate Van Barneveld to round off the evening.

Van Gerwen gained revenge on Barney for his World Championship exit a year earlier with a thrilling six sets to two triumph in the Semi-Finals at Alexandra Palace in January and now hopes to inflict more pain on his legendary compatriot.

Van Barneveld was on cloud nine last week as he marked his homecoming with a 7-2 rout of Gary Anderson, averaging 103.7 in Rotterdam, and knows he must replicate that level of performance if he is to have any chance of getting the better of his recent nemesis.

That commanding win ensured Barney will not be embroiled in a battle for survival on Judgement Night next week and lifted him back in to the all-important top four.

Van Gerwen, though, has won four and drawn one of their five meetings since Van Barneveld dumped him out of the 2016 World Championship and will be keen to prolong his fellow countryman's wait to end the drought.

Their latest show-down gets underway from 10.15pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 12 legs at The Manchester Arena.


Player's view:


Van Gerwen: "I'm the world number one and I think I should be top of the league so this is my chance.I'm quite confident because I've won the league for the past three years and I want to do it again this year.
 
"I'm in a good position now, I don't have any problems with my back and I just have to make sure I prepare myself well on Thursday and play as well as possible.
 
"Playing two games is always tough but I've done it before - we do it in the second half of the league - and won both matches, so I'm feeling good."

Van Barneveld: "Last week was amazing to play in front of my home crowd, I felt unbeatable because I couldn't let them down.

"I've got eight points now so I'm safe and hopefully I can make the play-offs. I believe, so why not?"


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Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - MVG out to reclaim top spot

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen aims to return to the summit of the Premier League table by overcoming Dutch comrade Raymond van Barneveld in Manchester on Thursday night.

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