The best darts players in the world will take to The SSE Arena stage in Belfast tonight (Thursday 17th February) for Night 3 of the Cazoo Premier League. This will be the first time the event has taken place in the city since April 2019, with travelling restricted in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year the Premier League is following a radical new format. Each night will now feature a mini-tournament made up of quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. All matches will be played over a best of eleven legs format, with a £10,000 bonus for each night’s winner.
Ranking points will also be awarded each night – with five to the winner, three to the runner-up and two to the semi-finalists – to form the league table from which the top four players will progress to the Play-Offs. The Play-Offs, scheduled for Berlin, Germany in June will determine the overall 2022 Premier League champion.
The in-form Joe Cullen will face three time world champion Michael Van Gerwen in one of the night’s most intriguing quarter-finals.
‘The Rockstar’ Cullen is taking part in his first Premier League campaign and was named as part of this year’s line-up as a result of his Masters title win in January.
The Premier League debutant made the Night 2 final last Thursday and also won both of last weekend’s Players Championship events in Wigan. He comes up against an out of sorts Van Gerwen who, having been number one in the world from 2014-2021, is now at number three. The Dutchman lost on Night 1 at the quarter-final stage and at the semi-final juncture last Thursday so will now look to continue his improvement and make it to the decider in Belfast.
Two fan favourites, and Scotsmen, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson will also face off in what promises to be an exciting encounter. The reigning world champion ‘Snakebite’ Wright was the winner on Night 1 and has also recorded the highest average in the competition so far with an incredible score of 113.02.
Also on the night, last week’s winner and reigning Premier League champion Jonny ‘The Ferret’ Clayton will face James ‘The Machine’ Wade while the only player to not a win a game over the first two nights, ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith will play 2021 world champion and world number one, ‘The Iceman’ Gerwyn Price.
There are limited tickets for the event still able to be purchased via Ticketmaster with live coverage being shown on Sky Sports Arena.
Night 3 Fixtures
Michael Smith vs Gerwyn Price
Joe Cullen vs Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson vs Peter Wright
James Wade vs Jonny Clayton
Smith/Price vs Cullen/Van Gerwen
Anderson/Wright vs Wade/Clayton
Words: Mark Casserly
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