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Live Darts on Thursday: Grand Slam of Darts 2017 Day Six preview and order of play

World number four Gurney celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

A clutch of the biggest names in world darts bid to book their place in the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 Grand Slam in Wolverhampton on Thursday.

Three of the four players ever to have lifted this trophy are in action on an unmissable evening at the Wolves Civic, alongside a further two major champions and a trio of in-form hopefuls.

Michael van Gerwen aims to extend his unbeaten run in this competition to 18 matches by ending the hopes of talented debutant Steve Lennon.

Van Gerwen, the reigning and back-to-back Grand Slam champion, coasted to top spot in Group A with maximum points and holds the highest tournament average of 105.84.

As the format increases, the world number one is looking to stamp his authority over the young Irishman and remain firmly on course for a third consecutive televised title.

Lennon came through Group B in second spot despite amassing just two points, with his superior legs difference enough for him to finish above Gerwyn Price and Jamie Hughes.

The 23-year-old is relishing the occasion in his first televised tournament and is now preparing for the biggest match of his young career to date.

Arguably the pick of Thursday's ties is a show-down between 2012 Grand Slam champion Raymond van Barneveld and recent European Championship runner-up - Rob Cross.

Van Barneveld, who became a grandfather on Wednesday for the second time, recorded three straight wins to top Group B, consistently averaging 98 in each of his matches.

The five-time World Champion now runs into one of the sport's current hottest properties whom he has failed to beat in their two meetings this season.

Cross, a four-time winner on the ProTour this year, finished runner-up to MVG in Group A, notably missing two match darts against the defending champion before suffering a dramatic last-leg defeat.

Now ranked 22, Cross is heading for the top 16 at a rate of knots and victory against Barney would set up the prospect of a grudge clash with Van Gerwen in the Last Eight.

Phil Taylor aims to remain in contention for a seventh Grand Slam title in his final Wolverhampton campaign by overcoming the tenacious Darren Webster.

Taylor clung on to top spot in Group G despite a 5-3 defeat to James Wade in his final fixture, in which he averaged just 84 amid a string of missed doubles.

The reigning World Matchplay champion has lost just once at this stage of the Grand Slam, back in 2012, and will be out to go through the gears as the stakes and format increase.

Webster sensationally whitewashed Taylor 5-0 the last time the two players met on this stage 12 months ago, and 'The Demolition Man' will be quietly confident he can switch off 'The Power' again.

The Norwich thrower came through a nail-biting nine-dart shoot-out with Mark Webster by just three points on Tuesday and now aims to seize his second chance in this prestigious major.

James Wade, last year's runner-up, kicks off the evening with a tasty clash against World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney.

A resilient Wade recovered well from his opening day defeat to Robbie Green by defeating Peter Machin and Taylor to prevail from Group C.

The left-hander has a strong record on this stage and a lengthy run here could restore the belief in his game heading in to a crucial period in the darting calendar.

Gurney dropped just five legs in advancing from Group D and continues to ride the crest of a wave after a landmark nine months in his career.

The Derry darter is entering uncharted territory in this tournament and will look to draw upon his clinical scoring power in an attempt to contain 'The Machine'.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, with group matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.


Bwin Grand Slam 2017 Match Schedule


Thursday November 16

Second Round

7.15pm Daryl Gurney v James Wade
8.15pm Phil Taylor v Darren Webster
9.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Steve Lennon
10.15pm Raymond van Barneveld v Rob Cross


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Live Darts on Thursday: Grand Slam of Darts 2017 Day Six preview and order of play

A clutch of the biggest names in world darts bid to book their place in the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 Grand Slam in Wolverhampton on Thursday.

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