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Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton Live Streaming Premier League Darts Semi-Final Preview

Whitlock and Hamilton pictured outside the O2 Arena ahead of their huge Semi-Final showdown on Thursday (credit: Lawrence Lustig/ PDC)
Two former World Championship finalists look to book their place in the 2012 Premier League final as they prepare to contest a thriller at the O2 Arena on Thursday evening.

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The match kicks off what promises to be an epic night of darts in front of an expectant 12,000 strong crowd at London's stunning O2 venue as the duo battle to meet either Phil Taylor or James Wade in the showpiece final later in the evening.

An unwanted statistic hangs over Simon Whitlock going into the tie - he has never beaten Andy Hamilton in a televised major and regards the Stoke ace as his bogey opponent.

The Wizard suffered heart-breaking defeats in the 2011 World Matchplay and 2012 World Championship having let significant leads slip on both occasions but will be out to settle the score by reaching his first Premier League final and ending the hopes of the gritty Stoke thrower.

Hamilton has enjoyed a landmark debut season after entering the event as a wildcard pick; he has proved wrong the doubters who wrote off his chances in this competition before a dart was thrown by reaching the play-offs following a third place finish courtesy of an incredible end of season run.

The Hammer found himself rock bottom of the table with six weeks gone, but rallied round demonstrating the grit and determination he has shown throughout his career, losing just once in his last eight matches (an 8-6 defeat to Phil Taylor).

He secured his place in the showpiece finals night with a thumping 8-1 victory over Kevin Painter and will take encouragement from his perfect record against the Aussie.

Whitlock has been consistent throughout the 14 weeks, comfortably landing second spot having lost just twice (both to Phil Taylor) across the whole of the campaign.

The duo are two of the heaviest scorers in the game and are also capable of clinical finishing, which should make for a highly entertaining, close-run encounter.

They have met 14 times in total since 2008, but despite Whitlock failing to beat The Hammer on television, he holds the better head-to-head record having taken eight victories to Hamilton's five, most of which have come in ProTour events.

The first of their league meetings produced a 7-7 draw, before Hamilton took maximum points with an 8-4 victory just two weeks ago.

The bookmakers believe Whitlock will end his Hammer hoodoo on Thursday, making him the short 1/2 favourite, with Hamilton offering value at 13/8 for a place in the final with Bet365.

The match gets underway at 7.10pm GMT and will be streamed live over the best of 15 legs from the O2 Arena, London.

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Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton Live Streaming Premier League Darts Semi-Final Preview

Two former World Championship finalists look to book their place in the 2012 Premier League final as they prepare to contest a thriller at the O2 Arena on Thursday evening.

Read more »