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Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - MVG out to overpower rival in Rotterdam

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 15 Mar 2017
Van Gerwen celebrates victory over Taylor last season (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen bids to extend his unbeaten start to the Premier League season when he hosts rival Phil Taylor in Rotterdam on Thursday.

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


A 10,000-strong sea of orange will greet the players in this Dutch darting hotbed, with the main event of the evening featuring the sport's two most decorated stars going head-to-head.

Van Gerwen marked his return to action with a narrow 7-5 win over Kim Huybrechts after missing the previous weeknight due to injury and the defending champion is out to protect the only remaining unbeaten record in this year's event.

The two-time World Champion has claimed eight points from a possible ten so far with a tournament average of 105.39 and will be aiming to feed off the vociferous support of the partisan Dutch crowd.

Taylor's 7-4 defeat to Adrian Lewis in Glasgow last week was his first of the campaign and a further loss on foreign soil could see him slip out of the top four.

The six-time Premier League champion will be out to avenge his 7-5 defeat to MVG on this stage last season but heads into the clash having won the last three televised meetings between the two.

Statistically, MVG is streets ahead of 'The Power' based on their Premier League performances so far, with the world number one boasting a tournament average almost ten points superior to the Stoke ace, hitting 20 maximums to Taylor's 10 and with a checkout percentage of 40.2% to his opponent's 37.5%.

Overall, Taylor has the upper-hand in their head-to-heads with 31 wins to the Dutchman's 23 and the duo have also played out two draws, including a 6-6 stalemate in last season's Premier League. 

The match gets underway from 10.15pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 12 legs at The Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam.

Player's view:


Van Gerwen: "It will be really special and I'm really looking forward to it. It's massive in Holland, and I'll have goosebumps and also enjoy myself.

"I put more pressure on myself because I want to perform for my home crowd and I don't want to let them down. You always try a little bit extra but we'll see what happens.

"I'm just going to try and play as well as possible, like I have done all year, and I want to keep that consistency going. I played quite well last week and I'm feeling good."

Taylor: "I haven't got to worry about facing Michael in his back yard - he's got to worry about playing against me.

"It's my last one so I'm just going to enjoy it." 


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Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - MVG out to overpower rival in Rotterdam

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen bids to extend his unbeaten start to the Premier League season when he hosts rival Phil Taylor in Rotterdam on Thursday.

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