Top two go head to head in Manchester

THE top two players in this year’s 888.com Premier League Darts will go head to head this week when Gary Anderson faces 15-times world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in Manchester tonight (Thursday).

Anderson, who heads the table with an unbeaten run of four out of four, takes on Taylor, who has three victories to his name.

Last week in Exeter, Anderson saw off former Premier League winner James Wade 8-3.

The Scot made Wade pay for three missed doubles in the opening leg by hitting double top, and landed the same bed to double his lead against the throw.

He then posted double 18 and double eight for a 4-0 lead, and after the paid traded 180s in the next Anderson had a chance to win a fifth leg without reply.

However, two missed darts at double 18 allowed Wade back, and the world number three took out double ten to get off the mark and hit the same bed to halve the gap to 4-2.

Anderson, though, scrambled in double 16 with his third dart to win the seventh leg, but missed double top in the next as Wade was given a reprieve for earlier misses to hit double three for his third leg of the game.

A brace of double top finishes stopped Wade’s fightback in its tracks as Anderson moved 7-3 up, and he hit a 180 before landing double four to complete his fourth straight win.

“It’s four out of four and I’m over the moon with that,” said Anderson. “James didn’t get going at all but I’m happy with how I played and I’m looking forward to playing Phil Taylor next week.

“I’m nipping at his heels now and I’m excited about playing him.”

Taylor, who beat great rival Raymond van Barneveld by the same 8-3 scoreline, said it was a massive match to be involved in, but he was now looking forward to facing Anderson.

“Playing Gary Anderson next week in Manchester will be brilliant for me and I’m really up for it now,” he said.

Premier League table:

Gary Anderson 8, Phil Taylor 6, Simon Whitlock 4, Mark Webster 4, Raymond van Barneveld 4, Adrian Lewis 2, James Wade 2, Terry Jenkins 2.