Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson: Five classic encounters
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 30/12/18 6:32pm
Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson resume their thrilling rivalry when they collide in the World Championship semi-finals on Sunday evening at Alexandra Palace.
The pair have won four of the last five World Championship titles between them and the winner of their semi-final tie will be heavily fancied to claim a third World Championship crown on New Year's Day.
As we prepare for another enthralling showdown between the best two players on the planet, here's a look back at five of their classic encounters...
Van Gerwen 4-3 Anderson- 2014 World Championship L16
Anderson and Van Gerwen clashed in the last 16 of the 2014 World Championship, with both men having recently suffered final defeats at the Alexandra Palace.
'The Flying Scotsman' stormed into a 3-1 lead and appeared on the cusp of a famous victory against the second seed, but Van Gerwen fought back in remarkable fashion; defying twelve maximums from Anderson to win the final three sets and prevail 4-3.
MVG went on to lift the world title with victory against Peter Wright, but this also proved to be a watershed moment in Anderson's career.
The 48-year-old credits that defeat for inspiring him to successive World Championship titles, which included revenge against Van Gerwen in the semi-finals 12 months later.
Anderson 11-7 Van Gerwen- 2015 Premier League final
The 2015 Premier League final saw the world champion take on the world No 1, but it was the world champion who prevailed, with Anderson seeing off Van Gerwen 11-7 in a pulsating contest.
Van Gerwen had topped the league phase for the third consecutive season, whilst Anderson survived three match darts to edge past Dave Chisnall in a thrilling semi-final tussle.
However, 'The Flying Scotsman' took full advantage of his good fortune to clinch his second Premier League crown, recovering from 2-0 down against MVG to win seven of the next eight legs.
Van Gerwen reduced the arrears to 7-5 but missed doubles cost the Dutchman dearly, which enabled Anderson to seize control and inflict MVG's second straight Premier League final defeat.
Van Gerwen 7-3 Anderson- 2017 World Championship final
Van Gerwen and Anderson contested a record-breaking World Championship final in 2017; the third time in four years that the pair had met at the Alexandra Palace.
Anderson was bidding to win a third consecutive world title, a feat only achieved by Phil Taylor and Eric Bristow, but his extraordinary 17-game unbeaten run at the tournament was halted by an irrepressible MVG.
'The Green Machine' averaged 108.06 to Anderson's 104.93 and the pair crashed in an astonishing 42 maximums between them; smashing the previous record of 34 set in the 2016 final.
The scores were locked at two sets apiece at one stage, but a trademark surge from Van Gerwen saw him win 14 of the next 16 legs and 'The Flying Scotsman' was rendered helpless against such sustained brilliance.
Van Gerwen 7-3 Anderson- 2018 Premier League Week 3
MVG and Ando produced arguably the highest-quality game in the 14-year history of the Premier League at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena earlier this year.
Both players averaged over 110 but it was Van Gerwen who triumphed in an absolute barnstormer, despite Anderson conjuring up a majestic 170 checkout to move 3-2 ahead in a leg where Van Gerwen had posted seven perfect darts.
The Dutchman ended the contest with seven 180s, whilst Anderson landed four maximums and two 177s, only to see 'Mighty Mike' storm to victory with five straight legs.
Both men reached the play-offs for the fifth consecutive season, but Van Gerwen collected a fourth Premier League crown with victory over Michael Smith in the final.
Anderson 10-9 Van Gerwen- 2018 Champions League of Darts
One of the pair's more recent televised meetings did not disappoint, as Anderson edged out Van Gerwen in an incredible last-leg decider in the Champions League of Darts group-stage.
Anderson needed to defeat MVG to reach the semi-finals, with Van Gerwen already assured of his spot in the last four. The Scot looked in total control at 7-3 ahead, but the Dutchman fought back to force a decider.
Anderson had the advantage of throw but survived two match darts from Van Gerwen, before taking out an incredible 140 checkout to secure victory and progress through to the semi-finals.
Anderson went on to lift the trophy; following up an 11-4 win over defending champion Mensur Suljovic with victory over Peter Wright in the final, by the same emphatic scoreline.
You can follow every dart from every session of the World Darts Championships on Sky Sports Darts, check out the full schedule here. You can also stay up to date with all the action behind the scenes by following us @SkySportsDarts