Premier League Darts: Phil Taylor v Andy Hamilton in week six as Barney takes on Thornton
Last Updated: March 15, 2013 6:46am
Phil Taylor: Looking for return to winning ways
The Premier League moves on to the MEN in Manchester on Thursday with just four weeks of action left before the dreaded relegation kicks in.
Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson do battle with both men needing the points but with both having positive results last week.
Anderson beat Phil Taylor for the first time on TV last week but The Power will be looking to bounce back as the reigning champion faces Stoke rival Andy Hamilton.
Taylor was also defeated by Hamilton - for only the second time in his career - in the quarter-finals of the UK Masters on Sunday, but said: "It's a different game on Thursday and it should be a great match.
Week Six Fixtures
Michael van Gerwen v Wes Newton
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v James Wade
Raymond v Barneveld v Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor v Andy Hamilton
"Andy played brilliantly at the weekend and I know he's in form, but I'm getting more confident with my new darts and I'm playing well too, and I feel good about my game."
Table-topper Raymond van Barneveld plays UK Open champion Robert Thornton, who lost his unbeaten record last week when he was defeated by James Wade.
Van Barneveld picked up his fourth win in five matches as he edged out Hamilton, and admitted: "I'm over the moon at the moment and after five weeks I think I've averaged 100 for the tournament and got eight points.
"They're all top class players and I'm really pleased to have won four out of five - but it's really important to win every single leg because last year I missed the Play-Offs on Leg Difference."
Second-placed James Wade, who has picked up seven points from his five games, will look to continue his run of form when he meets Australian rival Simon Whitlock in Manchester.
"If I'm anywhere outside of the bottom two then I'm happy because I've normally started slowly and been bottom, so it's good!" admitted Wade.
"All the players in the Premier League are great and I'll treat Simon the same as everyone else, but I'm excited and I want to play every game at the moment, and my game's starting to come together as a whole now."
Whitlock ended a three-game losing run when he defeated Wes Newton in Nottingham, and despite being one of three players on four points above the relegation zone, the Australian admits that he is loving the ten-player Premier League format this year.
"This is the bees knees!" said Whitlock. "Some people want results to go other ways but I don't - I'm loving it.
"I've played well in the last few weeks, even when I've been beaten, and I had to play well last week to beat Wes.
"I was happy for Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson to win last week because we've got the best ten players in the world in this event and we want a close Premier League."
The other game in Manchester sees second-bottom Newton meet van Gerwen, who also suffered his first defeat of the season last week.