This coming weekend number one, Michael van Gerwen sets his sights on winning his first Champions League of Darts in Cardiff. In the inaugural Champions League of Darts last year, van Gerwen was beaten in the final by Phil Taylor. The great Dutchman will be looking to avenge that defeat this weekend, as himself and Taylor are in the same group. Van Gerwen returned to action in September, following a month off to enjoy the birth of his first child. The time off seems to have recharged van Gerwen, as he has won back to back European Tour title in Holland and Germany.
Van Gerwen’s focus now switches to Cardiff and the eight man Champions League of Darts, as live darts are back on the BBC for the second year running. Van Gerwen and Taylor could meet on Saturday night in front of a sellout at the Motorpoint Arena. This will also be the first time the pair have met since the World Matchplay in Blackpool in July. On that night Taylor wound back the clock, as he beat his great rival and go on to win his sixteenth World Matchplay title. The match in Blackpool was overshadowed by some of the unsavoury comments by both players towards each other. In the final year of this great sporting rivalry, this could be one of the last times the pair meet on the big stage. So neither player will want to lose the final encounter against each other, since we don’t know what game will be the final one between the two stars both will play this one’s as it’s the last.
This is the only PDC tournament that Michael van Gerwen hasn’t won, so the Dutch start will be keen to tick this one off the list as soon as possible.
“It would be a nice one to tick off the list,” said Van Gerwen. “It’s a new tournament, and Phil won it last year, but I hope they are ready for me this year!
“Everything I want to compete in I want to win but it doesn’t always work that way. It’s going quite well at the moment.”
Saturday, September 16
Afternoon Session (1.15pm)
First Group Matches
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall (B)
Gary Anderson v Mensur Suljovic (B)
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis (A)
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld (A)
Evening Session (6.30pm)
Second Group Matches
The afternoon session’s winners face each other, and the losing players face each other.