Premier League Darts heads to Cardiff for Night Two of the competition on Thursday, with Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton…
Premier League Darts heads to Cardiff for Night Two of the competition on Thursday, with Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton set for a rapturous homecoming.
The second of 16 weekly knockouts sees the eight stars face off in pursuit of points towards the league table, as well as the £10,000 weekly winner’s bonus.
Chris Dobey enjoyed a dream debut in the sport’s biggest roadshow event as he claimed glory in Belfast on opening night just days after securing his first televised title at The Masters.
Dobey leads the way at the top of the early standings and puts his eight-match unbeaten run on the line against home favourite Price in the Quarter-Finals.
The Bedlington ace landed a 170 checkout and eleven 180s during his three victories in Belfast, but can expect a frosty reception from the partisan Welsh crowd as he bids to continue his winning run.
Price, back-to-back runner-up in the World Series in Bahrain and Copenhagen last month, suffered an early setback in his fifth Premier League campaign as he was beaten 6-4 by Nathan Aspinall on Night One.
The 2021 World Champion averaged just 91 in a below-par display and will be determined to bounce back on home soil and atone for last year’s 6-3 defeat at the hands of James Wade in the Quarter-Finals.
Meanwhile, 2021 Premier League champion Clayton kicks off the night with a show-down against reigning World Champion Michael Smith.
Clayton reached the final in Cardiff 12 months ago before being thrashed 6-1 by Peter Wright in the final, and went on to finish top of the league table with 40 points.
Clayton was eventually denied 10-4 by Joe Cullen in the play-offs and will be keen to kick-start his third consecutive campaign by putting points on the board in the Welsh capital.
The former World Cup of Darts winner was beaten 6-2 by Dimitri van den Bergh in his opener last week despite an average of 101, with missed doubles ultimately proving costly.
Smith is also eyeing his first win of the campaign after slipping to a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Michael van Gerwen in a repeat of January’s World Championship final.
The world number one, who has also claimed the Bahrain Masters title this year, averaged 100.8 in his opener and will be out to spoil the party at the Motorpoint Arena.
Clayton and Smith met seven times during last year’s Premier League, with ‘The Ferret’ prevailing on four occasions.
Reigning champion Van Gerwen and the returning Van den Bergh collide for the second successive week as the Belgian looks to avenge his Semi-Final defeat in Belfast.
Van Gerwen averaged 106 in a 6-4 success, having also prevailed by six sets to nil in their frosty Semi-Final encounter at the World Championship a month earlier.
Van Gerwen, an ever-present in the competition over the past decade, has reached the play-offs in all but one of his ten previous appearances and is level with Phil Taylor on six titles.
Van den Bergh, who finished fifth in his debut Premier League campaign two years ago, returns to the line-up after picking up two World Series titles in 2022, as well as enjoying runs to the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay and World Championship.
Two former Premier League finalists collide in another unmissable tie as Wright takes on Aspinall.
Wright, the 2017 runner-up, was left Belfast empty-handed despite averaging 103.7 and will look to sustain that level in a quest to triumph in Cardiff for the second year running.
The two-time World Champion produced an emphatic display to thrash Clayton 6-1 in last year’s Week One final with a 113 average.
Aspinall, the 2020 finalist who returns to the competition after missing out last year, overcame a struggling Price in his opener last week before going down 6-4 to Dobey, and his last televised meeting with Wright resulted in a 5-2 success at the Grand Slam in November which eliminated the Scot in the group stage.
Night Two of 2023 Premier League Darts gets under way from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
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Premier League Darts 2023 Night Two Schedule
Night Two – Thursday February 9
Cardiff International Arena
Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price v Chris Dobey
Michael van Gerwen v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Smith/Clayton v Aspinall/Wright
Price/Dobey v Van Gerwen/Van den Bergh
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