Premier League darts Glasgow: Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld at SECC
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 28/03/13 12:55pm
Taylor and Barney clash at the World Championship
Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld renew their famous old rivalry in the highlight of Week Eight of the Premier League darts season in Glasgow.
The penultimate league night before the bottom two stars are relegated from the ten-player event sees the world's top players visit a sold-out SECC, which will host five crucial matches.
Whilst the tension comes from the clashes involving players at the bottom of the table, the night also features Taylor and van Barneveld going head-to-head.
The pair have enjoyed many classic duels in the past, most recently in the semi-finals of the World Championship, in a game which saw van Barneveld hit back from 5-1 down in sets to level before Taylor edged through in a game which was overshadowed by their post-game disagreement on stage.
"We've solved what happened at the World Championship and we're still friends," said van Barneveld. "We'll forget all about that game this week and I have to because it's a big game.
"In all these years in the Premier League I've never beaten him and only got one draw, so it would be a dream to beat him. I know I can do it but I'll have to lift my game from last week when I drew with James Wade."
Van Barneveld had ended a five-year gap between major title wins when he claimed last November's Grand Slam of Darts title, and Taylor admits he was delighted to see his great rival return to top form.
"Of all the players I've ever played - and I've played some fantastic players around the world down the years - I think Barney's my favourite one to play against," said Taylor.
"Win, lose or draw, he's the most exciting player to play against. Dennis Priestley is probably the best player I've ever played against, and Jocky Wilson was probably the most spectacular player, but Barney is probably my favourite."
Taylor ends losing run
The opposite end of the league table features a crucial clash as the bottom two players, Wes Newton and Gary Anderson, face off in a game which could decide their hopes of avoiding relegation next week.
"I'm playing well but I've come up against some players who've put in sensational performances in the last couple of weeks," said Anderson. "Hopefully I'll keep playing well and get a bit of luck this week, and I'd love to give the Scottish fans plenty to cheer."
Lewis plays Stoke rival Andy Hamilton in another key clash, with the world number two looking to continue his return to form against his fifth-placed opponent before preparing to play van Barneveld in Brighton next week.
Another tasty battle sees in-form league leader van Gerwen play 2009 Premier League champion Wade, who sits in fourth place.
The night's other game sees the Premier League's other Scottish star, Robert Thornton, face Simon Whitlock, with both knowing that a victory could secure their place in the final weeks of the tournament.