PDC Premier League Darts: Two players from four contenders will be relegated
Last Updated: 05/04/13 6:21am
Adrian Lewis: Facing possible relegation
Two players from four contenders will be relegated from the McCoy's Premier League Darts in Brighton on Thursday night, as Adrian Lewis, Simon Whitlock, Wes Newton and Gary Anderson fight for survival.
The first phase of this year's 10-player tournament will come to a close as the bottom two players in the league table are eliminated following the culmination of week nine.
Anderson and Newton are locked on five points at the foot of the table going into 'Judgement Night', but are only a point behind Australian ace Whitlock and two adrift of Lewis, who lost his first four games but is now unbeaten in his last four.
Lewis kicks off Thursday night's drama at the Brighton Centre when he plays Raymond van Barneveld, and the two-time world champion knows that a draw or a win against the Dutchman will secure his status in the Premier League.
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Newton and Anderson, meanwhile, will need to take a minimum of a point from their games with Andy Hamilton and James Wade to bring Whitlock into the equation.
Newton's 7-4 win over Anderson in Glasgow last week saw him jump above the Scot on leg difference, and he went on to claim the £20,000 first prize in the Easter weekend's European Darts Trophy event in Germany.
"After the weekend, my confidence is good and I can't wait for Thursday," said Newton. "There's a lot of scenarios which could happen, but at the end of the day I've got to go up there and win - and if I don't do that, it's immaterial.
"Being in the Premier League's been the highlight of my darts career, I've loved every minute and I don't want to be relegated, and whatever happens I think I'll be a better player in the future for bring in the Premier League this year."
Defending league champion Anderson, meanwhile, must also avoid defeat when he meets another former winner, James Wade, in their game.
Should either England's Newton or Scot Anderson take a draw or a win from their matches, they would bring Whitlock into the battle when the Australian star takes on Michael van Gerwen in the night's final game.
Van Gerwen is one of four players locked on 10 points at the head of the league table, alongside Wade, van Barneveld and league leader Phil Taylor - whose meeting with Robert Thornton is the only clash which has no bearing on the relegation race on an intriguing night.