Thank you for signing up. 

We've sent you an email. Please click on the link to verify your address.

Watch live darts

Find out how now

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - Barney eyeing birthday triumph

The two Dutch dynamos shake hands following MVG's win at the World Championship (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld aims to mark his 50th birthday with a memorable victory over Dutch rival Michael van Gerwen in Belfast on Thursday night.

Barney hits the bullseye in terms of age and will be doubly-determined to celebrate in style by completing an unprecedented double over the defending champion this season.

Van Barneveld is the only player to have defeated MVG in this season's Premier League so far, having done so in Manchester a month ago, but will drop out of the play-off places if the world number one can return the favour.

The five-time World Champion is in the thick of the battle for Semi-Final spots; he starts the night in the all-important fourth position, one point clear of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis but having played a game more than the Stoke duo.

Crowd favourite RVB faces a gruelling run-in in the remaining four league nights but will be hopeful of rising to the big occasion as he so often has over the course of his illustrious career.

League leader Van Gerwen battled back from 5-1 down to salvage a 6-6 draw with Peter Wright last week, before going on to lift the German Masters title for the third consecutive year on Easter Monday.

Van Gerwen dispatched Barney 6-3 in the Quarter-Finals in Jena, a result which may arguably give him the psychological edge going into this latest show-down.

MVG is two points clear at the top with a game in-hand and a further two points here would surely see him put one hand on the £25,000 league winner's bonus once again.

In total, Van Gerwen has won seven of their eleven previous Premier League meetings, with his veteran compatriot claiming three wins, as well as a 6-6 stalemate last season.

Their latest encounter gets underway from around 9.30pm BST and will be contested over the best of 12 legs at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

Player's view:


Van Gerwen: "I want to perform every time and focus on myself. I have to keep practising and prepare myself as well as possible.
 
"Raymond was fantastic in that game and I missed a few chances, but this is a new week. I played some phenomenal darts in Germany and I want to keep that going now.
 
"I'm looking forward to playing Raymond on his birthday - hopefully I give him a nice birthday present!"

Van Barneveld: "It's a special birthday for me and I want to enjoy the day. I'm playing Michael but nobody can ruin my birthday.
 
"Hopefully I can stop him again - I've beaten Michael, beaten Gary and drawn with Peter Wright so I've taken five points so far from the top three in the world.
 
"Everyone can beat each other and I'm looking forward to the remaining few weeks. I'm still in the top four and hopefully I can get into the Play-Offs."


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - Barney eyeing birthday triumph

Raymond van Barneveld aims to mark his 50th birthday with a memorable victory over Dutch rival Michael van Gerwen in Belfast on Thursday night.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages