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Premier League Gary Anderson

Premier League Darts Contenders

Changes to the 2019 Premier League of darts have been made before a dart has been thrown. The former 2015 Premier League Champion and two-time World Darts Champion, Gary Anderson, has pulled out of the event due to an ongoing injury to his back. Gary also missed the PDC Masters, an event he was highly tipped to win.

Gary has suffered from back issues for a couple of years. Adrian Lewis also had back issues and to undergo surgery to correct it. Lewis missed a number of events as a result and fell out of the world top sixteen. He is now fighting back and slowly regaining his ranking position back.

 

Premier League Changes

The Chairman of the PDC, Barry Hearn, announced nine contenders would replace Gary. The nine players will take the Premier league to ‘Judgement Day’ when the lowest two players are eliminated from the League. The remaining players play on until the 16th May when the top four players will then move to the play-off finals.

The changes made will excite most fans and will, of course, upset the best bookies for darts pre-tournament betting odds. The nine named contenders are:

Chris Dobey, Glen Durrant (BDO 3x World Champion), Steve Lennon, Luke Humphries, John Henderson, Nathan Aspinall, Max Hopp, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Jeffrey de Zwaan

The contenders join the main Premier League players:

Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Michael Smith, Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney, James Wade, Mensur Suljović and Raymond van Barneveld.

Many of the players were tipped to be in the 2019 Premiership following their individual successes in the 2019 World Darts Championships with one major exception, Glen Durrant.

 

Glen DurrantGlen Durrant

Glen Durrant is the former three-time Lakeside BDO World Darts Champion. In 2018 after winning his second World title, Glen announced he would be staying at the BDO and would not consider a move to the more lucrative PDC circuit. However, during 2018 a lot of changes took place within the BDO and at one stage it looked like the BDO World Darts Championship would not take place. This, of course, didn’t happen and Glen won his third consecutive title equal the feat Eric Bristow achieved in the 1980s.

In January Glen won a two-year PDC tour card along with the former BDO No.1 Mark McGeeney. Both players are likely to be a good addition to the PDC. For Glen, however, a dream to play in the in the PDC Premier League has come earlier than expected. Glen would have thought he would have to qualify in the normal route via PDC ranking, PDC wild Cards based on PDC darts events performance or by Sky Wild Cards (the crowd pleasers).

 

The Contenders

Each of the nine contenders will play just one event with an additional incentive to draw or win their match. I am sure all the contenders will want to prove a point and will, without doubt, put the Premier League opponent under maximum pressure.

The change to include nine contenders as opposed to a single player replacement is intriguing and adds an additional dimension to the League, I am sure many will welcome. The players that have been given this opportunity have been selected on their individual ability and crowd pleasers. I.e. Max Hopp the German No.1 will play in the Berlin event.

The contenders will players at the following events:

Night One Newcastle Chris Dobey
Night Two Glasgow Glen Durrant (BDO 3x World Champion)
Night Three Dublin Steve Lennon
Night Four Exeter Luke Humphries
Night Five Aberdeen John Henderson
Night Six Nottingham Nathan Aspinall
Night Seven Berlin Max Hopp
Night Eight Rotterdam Dimitri Van den Bergh
Night Nine Rotterdam Jeffrey de Zwaan

 

Who to look out for?

Raymond van Barneveld 2014 Premier League ChampionMichael van Gerwen has won the Premier League for the past three years. The Dutchman has dominated the PDC for the past few years taking over from the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. Michael hasn’t been beaten this year, picking up the World Title for the third time and recently the Masters an event he has won for five consecutive years. It will be hard to bet against Michael for the 2019 title, however, Michael Smith has shown good promise recently. Smith was the 2019 World Champion runner-up and is likely to be in the mix when the Premier League reaches the play-off finals at the O2 Area in London come 23rd May.

As for the contenders, Glen Durrant will be a player to watch. Glen will take to the oche in the Glasgow fixture on valentine’s day, 14th February. Glen will play against Daryl Gurney and is likely to be the match of the night.

This year we also say farewell to another legend of the sport. Raymond van Barneveld. Raymond will retire from the sport in January 2020 at the end of the PDC World Darts Championships. However, on his day Raymond can beat anyone in the world as he has proved time and time again in the past. His last Premier League Dutch event will be on ‘Judgement Night’ 28th March. I am sure the Dutch fans will be emotional and full of support for the most famous Dutch darts player ever.

 

PDC Previous Premier League Winners

Year

Winner

Score

 

Score

Runner-up

2018 Michael van Gerwen 11 - 4 Michael Smith
2017 Michael van Gerwen
11
-
10
Peter Wright
2016 Michael van Gerwen
11
-
3
Phil Taylor
2015 Gary Anderson
11
-
7
Michael van Gerwen
2014 Raymond van Barneveld
10
-
6
Michael van Gerwen
2013 Michael van Gerwen
10
-
8
Phil Taylor
2012 Phil Taylor
10
-
7
Simon Whitlock
2011 Gary Anderson
10
-
4
Adrian Lewis
2010 Phil Taylor
10
-
8
James Wade
2009 James Wade
13
-
8
Mervyn King
2008 Phil Taylor
16
-
8
James Wade
2007 Phil Taylor
16
-
6
Terry Jenkins
2006 Phil Taylor
16
-
6
Roland Scholten
2005 Phil Taylor
16
-
4
Colin Lloyd

 

 

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