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Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - Barney eyeing winning homecoming

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 15 Mar 2017
Anderson and Barney exchange pleasantries (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Dutch hero Raymond van Barneveld aims to delight a sell-out Rotterdam crowd by overcoming world number two Gary Anderson at The Ahoy Arena on Thursday evening.

As he did last year, the five-time World Champion is set for another roof-raising reception when he returns to the venue situated just 16 miles from his home in The Hague.

Van Barneveld was moved close to tears after the 'Barney army' welcomed back their idol in 2016, but the popular Dutchman can ill-afford to let the occasion get to him as he bids to challenge for a play-off spot.

Barney battled back from 4-1 behind to record a 7-5 victory over compatriot Jelle Klaasen last week but knows he must raise his game if he is to have any chance of ending his two-year wait for a win over The Flying Scotsman.

Anderson was the home favourite in Glasgow last week as he returned to winning ways, but the boot is now firmly on the other foot as he bids to spoil the party and claim a twelfth straight win over Barney.

Anderson starts the night in third position and will be out to put daylight between himself and fifth, while also keeping pace with his main title rival Michael van Gerwen in the process.

Van Barneveld's last triumph over the Scot came in this competition two years ago, with Anderson's notable wins since coming in the Semi-Finals of the World Grand Prix and the Quarter-Finals of both the 2016 Grand Slam and 2017 Masters. 

Anderson boasts a tournament average of 102.2 to RVB's 97.8, while Barney has the lowest checkout success rate of the ten-man field at 32.3% in comparison to his opponent's solid 40.6%.

Their latest show-down gets underway from 8.15pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 12 legs at The Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam.

Player's view:


Van Barneveld: "Rotterdam last year was the best night I've ever had - the whole crowd were wearing orange and it was absolutely amazing.

"I'll be playing in my orange shirt, and if I start thinking about it I get emotional! Gary's a tough competitor but I'll enjoy it this week and I'm more relaxed now."

Anderson: "It's Barney's home venue so it'll be exactly the same for him as it was for me last week. 

"I don't speak Dutch so I just have to pretend they're cheering for me!"


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Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson: Premier League Darts 2017 preview - Barney eyeing winning homecoming

Dutch hero Raymond van Barneveld aims to delight a sell-out Rotterdam crowd by overcoming world number two Gary Anderson at The Ahoy Arena on Thursday evening.

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