Ahead of night in Nottingham, Taylor praises 'special' Arena
DARTS legend Phil Taylor is counting down the days until his return to Nottingham this week as the McCoy's Premier League Darts roadshow visits the Capital FM Arena.
World champion Taylor and his nine rivals in the Premier League tournament, including world number two Adrian Lewis and popular Dutch pair Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, will visit Nottingham on Thursday for the fifth league night of the season.
Following the tournament's expansion to feature ten players this year, there will be five matches at the Capital FM Arena – headlined by Taylor's clash with Scottish star Gary Anderson, the 2011 Premier League champion.
Van Gerwen, one of three players who have joined Taylor on six points at the top of the league table, plays two-time world champion Lewis in another key battle, with the Englishman yet to pick up a point following four matches this year.
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Van Barneveld will play Andy Hamilton, the former World Championship finalist from Stoke who also lived in Derby for a spell, while 2009 Premier League winner James Wade plays Scotland's Robert Thornton, who has also picked up six points so far in his debut season.
The night's other game is a repeat of last year's European Championship final, as Australia's Simon Whitlock plays Wes Newton, with players fighting for points in a bid to avoid relegation for the bottom two stars after nine weeks.
"It's shaping up to be a massive night in Nottingham and I can't wait," said Taylor, who remains unbeaten this season following a 6-6 draw with Wade in Exeter last Thursday.
"Nottingham's a great arena and we always seem to have good nights there. I remember one year when there were something like 44 180s hit on the night, and Barney hit his record TV average last year so there must be something special!
"I'm really enjoying the Premier League season so far and the fans have been brilliant wherever we've been.
"The players are enjoying it too and the atmosphere in the practice room is great because the big stage is bringing the best out of everyone.
"Robert Thornton's playing brilliantly, Michael van Gerwen has been very consistent and James Wade has really impressed me so far this season, and it's the most competitive season we've ever had because nobody wants to be relegated."
As part of the roadshow, various stars from the Premier League will be making appearances in the city centre in the lead-up to Thursday night.
Wade will be at the Coral bookmakers shop on Market Square on Wednesday afternoon, while Aussie Whitlock will visit The Money Shop on Main Street on the same day between 1pm and 2.30pm.
'The Wizard' will go head-to-head in a matchplay challenge on the oche with local darts players in a six versus nine darts contest – with prizes on offer on the day, including a signed dart board.
Tickets for the McCoy's Premier League Darts at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Thursday are still available from www.capitalfmarena.com or by calling 0843 373 3000.