Gary Anderson faces Phil Taylor while Michael van Gerwen meets Raymond van Barneveld in Dubai
World Champion Van Gerwen to battle Barney in all-Dutch clash
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 25/05/17 8:44am
Gary Anderson will begin his defence of the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters title against Phil Taylor on Wednesday, as Dutch giants Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld prepare to collide.
The fifth staging of the Dubai Darts Masters will take place on May 24-25 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, with the open-air setting providing a spectacular backdrop for the two-day championship.
The year's first World Series of Darts tournament will begin with the high-profile meeting between defending champion Anderson and legendary 16-time World Champion Taylor.
'What a way to go, Phil'
Wayne Mardle believes Phil Taylor showed what he can do on Premier League Finals night
Taylor will be competing in Dubai for the final time ahead of his retirement at the end of the year, while Anderson is returning to the scene of his first of three World Series wins last year.
"It's a tough game," said Anderson. "Phil beat me the last time we played in the Premier League so it will be a hard game, and he'll be trying his damnedest because this is his last year.
"It's nice to get over to Dubai and be back here. Winning the event last year was a great memory and I'd love to do it again."
World Champion Van Gerwen was the winner in the first three years of the event from 2013-2015 before losing out to Anderson in last year's final.
He faces an all-Dutch clash with Van Barneveld in their quarter-final on Wednesday, in a game which revives memories of their meeting in the final four years ago.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Van Gerwen. "It's always a fantastic tournament for me and I've always played well over here.
"Last year I let Gary Anderson walk away with the trophy, unfortunately I made a few mistakes, but I'm here to try to get it back again.
"That's what you need to aim for, keep your confidence high and make sure you perform well and also prepare well because you need to get used to the heat again. I feel comfortable about it."
Van Barneveld was one of just two players to defeat Van Gerwen during the recent Premier League season and is aiming to see off the world No 1.
"There were no easy draws and you know what you've got to do - play your best," said Van Barneveld. "To beat Michael, the Premier League champion and World Champion, is going to be tough so I hope I play well tomorrow.
"Mike is a machine but someone has to stop him and why not me? If there is one player in darts that can beat him it's me, I've shown that for the last two or three years."
Number four seed James Wade will play debutant Gerwyn Price, while Premier League runner-up Peter Wright, another former finalist in Dubai, will take on Dave Chisnall in the other quarter-final, with both players in strong form recently.
Schedule of Play
Wednesday May 24 (8pm)
James Wade v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 19 legs
Thursday May 25 (8pm)
Best of 21 legs
Best of 21 legs
Don't forget that you can see all the action from The World Cup of Darts, live on Sky Sports. The arrows run from 1-4 June.
Who will win the World Cup of Darts? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @SkySportsDarts or by using the comments box below - sign in with Facebook. Follow us on Twitter & use #LoveTheDarts