Premier League darts returns and Phil Taylor has a point to prove
Last Updated: 20/01/14 10:40am
Taylor: hoping for Premier League redemption
Premier League Darts is back as Michael van Gerwen looks to cement his place at the top of the tree.
The Dutch prodigy secured his first Ladbrokes World Championship title in January by beating Peter Wright in the final and will be keen to rubber-stamp his superiority in this format.
Van Gerwen won the Premier League at his first attempt last year - overcoming arch-rival Phil Taylor 10-8 in a thrilling final having topped the table in the 'regular season' with some impressive consistency.
Taylor, who has won no fewer than 16 world titles, suffered a shock second-round exit at Alexandra Palace - falling 4-3 to Michael Smith - and will be desperate to re-establish himself as world number one by claiming a seventh Premier League Darts title.
Defeated world finalist Peter Wright is an interesting entrant in this year's tournament. The colourful dresser, who lives in Mendham in Suffolk, was fearless in forcing a showdown with Van Gerwen and is surely a live outsider in the Premier League format.
Alongside mainstays such as Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld, also joining the 10-strong party is St Helens' Dave Chisnall, a world championship runner-up in 2010.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn said of the line-up: "There is always going to be debate and discussion over which players are included but the Wildcards chosen both by ourselves and Sky Sports provide a great mix of quality, experience and personalities."
Phil Taylor - 16-time World Champion
Michael van Gerwen - Reigning Premier League Darts and World Champion
Simon Whitlock - 2012 European Champion
Adrian Lewis - 2011 & 2012 World Champion
Dave Chisnall - 2013 World Grand Prix Runner-Up
Peter Wright - 2014 World Championship Finalist
Wes Newton - Two-time Major Finalist
Robert Thornton - 2012 UK Open Champion
Raymond van Barneveld - Five-Time World Champion
Gary Anderson - 2011 Premier League Darts Champion
Night One February 6 Echo Arena, Liverpool - 7pm, Sky Sports 1 HD
Night Two February 13 BIC, Bournemouth - 7pm, Sky Sports 2 HD
Night Three February 20 Odyssey Arena, Belfast - 7pm, Sky Sports 2 HD
Night Four February 27 SSE Hydro, Glasgow - 7pm, Sky Sports 2 HD
Night Five March 6 Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Night Six March 13 Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Night Seven March 20 First Direct Arena, Leeds
Night Eight March 27 The O2, Dublin
Night Nine April 3 Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Night Ten April 10 Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Night 11 April 17 GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Night 12 April 24 Phones 4u Arena, Manchester
Night 13 May 1 NIA, Birmingham
Night 14 May 8 Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Night 15 May 15 The Brighton Centre
Play-Offs May 22 The O2, London