Michael Van Gerwen confident ahead of Premier League Darts clash with Phil Taylor
Last Updated: 05/02/14 6:46pm
Michael van Gerwen begins the defence of his Premier League title against Phil Taylor.
World No 1 Michael Van Gerwen says he is full of confidence ahead of his match-up against Phil 'The Power' Taylor as the Premier League Darts gets underway in Liverpool tomorrow.
World No 1 and current reigning champion Van Gerwen faces Taylor in a rematch of their opening day Premier League encounter last year.
That contest finished in a thrilling 6-6 draw and 24-year-old Van Gerwen is expecting another exciting game when the pair clash at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Thursday.
"To play Phil Taylor is always tough," Van Gerwen told Sky Sports News. "He is the 16-time world champion and it's always difficult to beat him but last year I also started the Premier League of Darts against him - and last year was my debut.
"But my form is there, my confidence is there and I think it's going to be a cracking game tomorrow night.
"There will be a lot of pressure on me for sure but all I can do is make sure I prepare myself very well and make sure I beat Phil.
"Phil is still very much the man to beat and even though I'm world number one he has won so many tournaments in the past.
"I've got quite a lot of experience on the big stage so I think I will be fine."
Van Gerwen, who recently won the PDC World Championships at Alexandra Palace, says the Premier League Darts is a unique competition.
"You play 16 weeks in a row against top players and that's why you cannot afford any mistakes otherwise you will lose straightaway," he said.
"I know what it was like last year. The venues and all the crowds - it was fantastic. Every single venue has something special."
Beaten World Championships finalist Peter Wright is also in action on Thursday, taking on Fleetwood's Wes 'The Warrior' Newton.
Wright expects Newton to have the crowd on his side but revealed he will draw on the experience he gained at the World Championships to try and defeat his opponent.
"I'm going to take the experience of the crowds who really got behind me (at Alexandra Palace)," Wright said.
"It felt like I was floating across the stage with all the atmosphere, and with 10 - 12,000 people there tomorrow - I'm really looking forward to it.
"I'm going to bounce across the stage like I normally do and hopefully let my darts do the talking and entertain the crowds.
"Wes will have the crowd on his side so I will try and turn them on to my side. It will be a good battle I don't know what the score will be but it's going to be a win for me."