Michael van Gerwen will face Raymond van Barneveld in Rotterdam as Premier League fixtures revealed
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 16/04/18 3:47pm
Michael van Gerwen's Rotterdam meeting with Raymond van Barneveld headlines Phase Two of the Premier League, which gets underway on Thursday when the top four face off in Sheffield.
After the first stage ended on an emotional night in Liverpool with Mensur Suljoivic joining Gerwyn Price in dropping out of the competition, the fixtures for the final six nights of tungsten action have been released.
The opening night at Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena will see the league's top four going head to head in a line-up that could open up an already tightly grouped chasing pack.
Top-of-the-table Van Gerwen, on a six-match winning streak after a solitary defeat to Peter Wright on Night Two, plays fourth-placed Simon Whitlock who ended a run of five without a win by beating Gerwyn Price last Thursday.
Second-placed Michael Smith, a Pro Tour winner again at the weekend, has seven wins from his nine matches and will take on red-hot world champion Rob Cross this week, who is up to third place after starting his debut Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats.
Smith has seven wins from his nine matches, a far cry from his debut in the competition two years ago when he won just a solitary game as he was eliminated after the first stage.
Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright will double up in Sheffield as the first four nights will feature five matches - a pair of victories for either man will keep them in the top-four hunt.
Barney kicks off against Daryl Gurney while Wright is in action against Gary Anderson before the pair return to end the evening.
Night Ten - April 12
|FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Gary Anderson||v||Peter Wright|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Michael Smith||v||Rob Cross|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Peter Wright|
After Sheffield, attention turns to Rotterdam's Ahoy Arena when back-to-back nights of action will thrill the Dutch crowd, who will get the chance to again turn the venue into a sea of orange as they did last year.
On Wednesday, Van Barneveld and Van Gerwen can expect the full support of the crowd as they go up against Whitlock and Wright respectively but Thursday promises to be a memorable night.
The two darting icons will go up against each other in the evening's penultimate match and the pair often bring out the best in each other with Van Gerwen inspired by Van Barneveld who rises to the challenge.
Gurney and Whitlock play twice on Thursday with world champion Cross and Gary Anderson doubling up on Wednesday in the final game of a blockbuster start to two days in the Netherlands.
Night 11 - April 18
|Michael Smith||v||Gary Anderson|
|Rob Cross||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Simon Whitlock|
|Peter Wright||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Rob Cross||v||Gary Anderson|
Night 12 - April 19
|Simon Whitlock||v||Michael Smith|
|Daryl Gurney||v||Gary Anderson|
|Rob Cross||v||Peter Wright|
|Michael van Gerwen||v||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Daryl Gurney||v||Simon Whitlock|
After the 'Double in the 'Dam' the roadshow rolls on to Manchester. Birmingham and then Aberdeen for the final night of action as the race for the play-offs hots up with those holding the top four spots heading to London's O2 for Finals Night on May 17.
With just four points currently separating fourth and eighth, the final night of the regular season could be one of the most dramatic in the competition's history and the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen always provides a raucous atmosphere with Scottish hero Anderson roared to the stage.
The Flying Scotsman will face Van Gerwen as he did last year, with the Dutchman aiming to finish top for a sixth successive year. Smith will face Van Barneveld, Whitlock takes on Cross and Wright will face Gurney before attention switch to London
Night 13 - April 26
|Peter Wright||v||Michael Smith|
|Daryl Gurney||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Gary Anderson|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Rob Cross|
|Michael Smith||v||Michael van Gerwen|
Night 14 - May 3
|Peter Wright||v||Simon Whitlock|
|Daryl Gurney||v||Michael Smith|
|Rob Cross||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Gary Anderson||v||Raymond van Barneveld|
Night 15 - May 10
|BHGE Arena, Aberdeen|
|Michael Smith||v||Raymond van Barneveld|
|Peter Wright||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Michael van Gerwen||v||Gary Anderson|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Rob Cross|
The 2018 Premier League heads to the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield on Thursday for week 10 with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Mix, which you can find on channel 287, and is free for all Sky customers. Five weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season's conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
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