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Luke Littler: Mark Webster backs teenage sensation to win a major PDC event this year

Mark Webster backs Luke Littler to make the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix tournaments this year and potentially win one of them; watch Premier League Darts every Thursday night up until the Play-Offs at London's O2 on Thursday, May 23 - live on Sky Sports

Luke Littler watches on in Berlin at the Premier League Darts
Image: Luke Littler will be back in Premier League action in Glasgow on Thursday when he takes on Gerwyn Price in the quarter-finals

"It's not a question of if, but how many titles Luke Littler will win," - Sky Sports' pundit Mark Webster is backing the 17-year-old to win a major PDC event in 2024.

Teenage sensation Littler produced a stunning display to win the opening Players Championship event on his debut in the competition earlier this week having made the final of Premier League Night Two in Berlin last Thursday where he lost out to Michael van Gerwen in a last-leg decider.

After hitting a nine-dart finish in one of the earlier rounds, 17-year-old Littler dug deep to beat Ryan Searle in a thrilling final, capturing the £15,000 winner's purse and a first ranking title after continuing his rich vein of form.

He fell to a second-round defeat in the second tournament when he was pipped 6-5 by Radek Szaganski, but he has now collected £16,000 in total on the ProTour Order of Merit - around £9,000 off provisional qualifying for the World Matchplay - but he is in a World Grand Prix spot as things stand.

Fixtures: Night Three, OVO Hydro, Glasgow, Thursday February 15

Rob Cross vs Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall vs Luke Humphries
Gerwyn Price vs Luke Littler

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Former Lakeside champion Webster was not completely surprised to see World Championship finalist Littler win his first PDC ProTour event so quickly.

"If I said he'd win the first one, I'm not so sure, but I did say to Dan Dawson last week I thought he'd win one of the first four," said Webster.

"I think he'll carry on winning them. He's got a ridiculous appetite to play the game and he's playing really well. I think when he does have a little setback like he did on Tuesday in Wigan, he'll just go again."

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Speaking on Love The Darts, Polly James and Richard Ashdown look ahead to Night Three of the Premier League in Glasgow

The world youth champion next faces Gerwyn Price in a tasty tungsten tussle on Premier League Night Three in Glasgow on Thursday - live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm.

"He'll be looking forward to playing Gezzy (Price) up in Glasgow and I expect him to make the top four of the Premier League," Welshman Webster added.

"Everything is falling into place. There are little concerns that he might not make Blackpool and the World Grand Prix because he's so far behind, but he's got £16,000 already and I have no doubt he'll make it to those events.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he won one of those events because he's playing so well at the minute.

"But a lot can happen in the next four or five months because he's got a busy Premier League campaign and he's got to juggle some qualifiers as well, but I expect him to get through them and then he'll be flying up to Glasgow in buoyant mood.

"He's made a good start to the Premier League and I think he's going to be a continued success throughout this year."

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Littler beats Ryan Searle on his Players Championship debut in Wigan having won the Bahrain Masters in January

He continued: "It won't be a question of if he wins titles, but how many he will lift, because he's that good. I'm excited to see his progress but I'm also interested to see the response from the other players as well.

"Michael van Gerwen has responded well in the two matches he's played against Littler in the Netherlands and last week in Berlin. It's up to the others to follow suit now because there will be defeats and speedbumps on the way for Littler but it's how he responds and he's responded pretty well so far.

"It's going to be an exciting year for him and for the sport."

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Littler was agonisingly close to hitting his second nine-darter of the night on his Players Championship debut in Wigan

Where does the Premier League head next?

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Image: Michael van Gerwen is the seven-time Premier League champion

Premier League Darts now heads to the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday night.

Van Gerwen takes on Scottish No 1 Peter Wright. Elsewhere, Littler tackles Price, Luke Humphries meets Nathan Aspinall, while Rob Cross and Michael Smith lock horns in the opening match of the night.

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Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday February 15 with Glasgow the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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