Home hero Barney aims to book his place in the Semi-Finals (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The 2019 World Series of Darts draws to a close in Amsterdam on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle to take the title at the AFAS Live.
Day Two of the annual invitational saw six of the eight seeded stars crash out at the first hurdle, leaving the door ajar for a clutch of in-form outsiders.
Defending champion James Wade bowed out at the hands of Jonny Clayton for the second successive weekend, now ‘The Ferret’ faces the formidable task of attempting to stop a rampant Michael van Gerwen in his tracks.
The world number 13 is already enjoying his best run in this competition but will have to contend with a partisan Dutch crowd as well as a player who has lost just once in four previous stagings of the World Series Finals.
Van Gerwen fought back from 4-2 down to deny Gerwyn Price in a last-leg decider yet again, extending his unbeaten run against the Welshman to 19 games.
Afterwards, the world number one criticised Price’s apparent use of gamesmanship during the match, but will now look to press on and book his place in the Semi-Finals later this evening.
Van Gerwen is bidding for a fifth televised title in his last six outings and what would be an eighth of the year so far.
Van Gerwen, however, will not be the most popular Dutchman in the building on Sunday, as five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld prepares to bid farewell to his home crowd.
The 52-year-old, who will retire from professional darts at the end of the season, turned back the clock with a 101 average in defeating Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 on Saturday and will be determined to maintain that standard for a fairy-tale shot at glory.
Van Barneveld, however, faces a tough task against an opponent playing perhaps the most consistent darts of his career to date – Dave Chisnall.
Chisnall, who has won six of their last eight meetings, finds himself in a third consecutive televised Quarter-Final, following on from his runner-up spot at the World Grand Prix and Quarter-Final run at the European Championship.
Semi-finalist in this event three years ago, ‘Chizzy’ began his charge this weekend with a 6-4 win over Simon Whitlock before repeating the dose on World Matchplay champion Rob Cross.
The St Helens power-scorer will be up against a partisan ‘Barney Army’, but will look to silence them as quickly as possible and spoil the party in Amsterdam.
A fascinating opening fixture sees two of the sport’s most unflappable characters collide as Mensur Suljovic takes on Krzysztof Ratajski.
Austria meets Poland as the pair lock horns for only the third time in PDC competition, having won one match apiece so far.
Suljovic has been way below his best in recent weeks, suffering an early exit in the European Championship, but has dropped just four legs in seeing off Kyle Anderson and Damon Heta despite averages of just 86.8 and 89.6.
The world number nine knows he must raise his game considerably over the extended format against a player enjoying the form of his life which has carried him to a career-high ranking of 20th.
Ratajski, making his debut in this competition as a qualifier, edged out Nathan Aspinall 6-5 with a stunning 104 average in Round One before dumping out Daryl Gurney 6-4 despite an average of just 92.
The Gibraltar Trophy champion is appearing in his first televised Quarter-Final as a PDC player and will look to set up a potential show-down with MVG in the Last Four.
Ian White has a golden opportunity to reach his first televised Semi-Final as a PDC player when he faces Dutch ace Danny Noppert.
The world number eleven has incredibly never made it beyond the Last Eight in front of the TV cameras in eight years as a PDC Tour Card holder but now has arguably his best chance of breaking the mould.
White denied Ricky Evans in a deciding leg in Round One before brushing aside second seed Peter Wright 6-2 and now faces Noppert for the first time in a televised event.
Noppert, one of eight wildcards in this year’s field, has fully justified his inclusion by defeating Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3 and thrashing an out of sorts Gary Anderson 6-1 in the Last 16.
The former Lakeside finalist reached the Semi-Finals of last year’s Players Championship Finals and has also reached the Last Four of four ProTour events this season.
The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and Final best of 21.
World Series of Darts Finals 2019 Match Schedule
All times GMT (Local time one hour ahead)
Sunday November 3
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4.45pm)
Mensur Suljovic v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton
Ian White v Danny Noppert
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Suljovic/Ratajski v Van Gerwen/Clayton
White/Noppert v Van Barneveld/Chisnall