Raymond van Barneveld could be buoyed by Players Championship run, says Colin Lloyd
"I always used to think if you've done well in an event the week of another Premier League, it really used to lift me, it really used to boost me."
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 20/03/19 10:21am
Colin Lloyd believes Raymond van Barneveld's run to the final of Players Championship 8 last weekend could give the Dutchman a much-needed boost in his bid to avoid Premier League elimination.
Van Barneveld is currently three points adrift of Premier League safety with three matches remaining, having claimed just two points from six fixtures in his farewell campaign.
However, the five-time world champion rolled back the years to reach the final of Players Championship 8 in Wigan on Sunday - his first ranking final since September 2015.
What comes next? Night Seven - Thursday, March 21 - Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
|Gerwyn Price||vs||Rob Cross|
|James Wade||vs||Peter Wright|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Daryl Gurney|
|Michael Smith||vs||Mensur Suljovic|
|Max Hopp||vs||Raymond van Barneveld|
The Dutchman survived a multitude of match darts in his second-round tie against Zoran Lerchbacher, before posting ton-topping averages to defeat Martin Schindler and Jan Dekker en route to the final.
Van Barneveld was beaten 8-3 by Adrian Lewis in Sunday's showpiece as 'Jackpot' sealed his first PDC title in almost two years, but speaking on the Darts Show Podcast, Lloyd believes Barney could be buoyed by his Pro Tour exploits.
"It will be interesting to see how he plays on Thursday," Lloyd said.
"I always used to think if you've done well in an event the week of another Premier League, it really used to lift me, it really used to boost me.
"I used to think to myself I was going into a bit of a struggling patch and then all of a sudden you go out with a different attitude and you feel so much different when you walk out on a Thursday night.
"You think 'I can do this' and I think where Barney has been bogged down a little bit, one minute there's a little flash of brilliance, then there's mediocrity; I think that little run in that Pro Tour will give him a real lift."
Barney takes on home hero Max Hopp in Berlin this Thursday, as the former World Youth champion prepares to make his Premier League bow in front of 12,000 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Van Barneveld then makes his own return to home soil ahead of the Rotterdam double-header, as he takes on Daryl Gurney before facing his fellow countryman Michael van Gerwen on Judgement Night.
"MVG is the man at the minute but MVG - the last couple of times he goes out and all he can hear is Barney Army, Barney Army."
Lloyd on Barney's popularity
The legendary Dutchman famously defeated Van Gerwen 7-5 in Rotterdam 12 months ago and he will need to produce similar heroics to topple 'The Green Machine' once more at the Ahoy Arena.
Van Barneveld's fate could be sealed ahead of his tie against the world No 1, but Lloyd believes the incredible home support for Barney could be a pivotal factor in the all-Dutch showdown.
"MVG is the man at the minute but MVG - the last couple of times he goes out and all he can hear is Barney Army, Barney Army," Lloyd added.
"He must be thinking: 'Hang on a minute I'm the in-form player' and that will give Barney a boost and if his game is there or thereabouts he might put Michael on the back foot a little bit."
The Premier League heads to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin on Thursday, March 21. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts