Michael van Gerwen (7/2 Premier League outright) feels he is well suited to the format of Premier League Darts as he gears up to face Gary Anderson (14/1) in the first round of fixtures on Thursday.
Only Phil Taylor, who won the Premier League on six occasions, has a better record in the competition than Van Gerwen and the Dutchman can match his tally of titles if he goes all the way this season.
The 2022 Premier League gets underway tonight when eight competitors, including debutant Joe Cullen (12/1 Premier League outright), head to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Van Gerwen takes on Anderson in a quarter-final tie and will meet either Peter Wright (9/2 Premier League outright) or Michael Smith (7/1) in the semi-finals on Night 1 if he finds a way beyond the Scot.
His last success in the Premier League came in 2019, with Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton (9/2 Premier League outright) winning in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
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Despite his struggles at the last two events, Van Gerwen is confident that the format plays to his strengths and feels he can challenge.
Van Gerwen said: “In a normal Premier League you play week after week on the highest level and last year because of Covid they made so many games after each other to get it out of the way and make sure the tournament was done.
“Everyone can play good for a week, but in normal times you have to be good for 17 weeks.
“100 per-cent it’s going to suit me, and with the crowd and everything, it’s going to make me a happy man.”
Defending champion Clayton will kick off Thursday’s programme in Wales against new boy Cullen (Match betting – Clayton 8/13, Cullen 13/10) ahead of Gerwyn Price and James Wade (Match betting – Price 2/5, Wade 2/1) taking to the oche.
Wright and Smith (Match betting – Wright 4/5, Smith EVS) are third on the schedule, in a rematch of last month’s World Championship decider at Alexandra Palace, with Van Gerwen closing out the quarter-final ties against Anderson (Match betting – Van Gerwen 4/9, Anderson 7/4).
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