Premier League 'Contenders' To Replace Injured Anderson

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Premier League 'Contenders' To Replace Injured Anderson

NINE new names will replace the injured Gary Anderson in the opening nine nights of the 2019 Unibet Premier League.

Following former Premier League champion Anderson’s withdrawal due to a back injury, nine ‘contenders’ made up of stars of the future and local favourites will make their Premier League debuts on the biggest stage in darts.

Among the contenders are a trio of young players who impressed at Alexandra Palace in the 2018/19 World Darts Championship; semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall will star in Nottingham, quarter-finalist Luke Humphries will play in Exeter, while Chris Dobey will be the hometown hero in Newcastle on the opening night.

German superstar Max Hopp, who reached the semi-finals of the European Championship, will raise the roof in Berlin, Scottish fans’ favourite John Henderson will feature in Aberdeen and emerging Irish talent Steve Lennon will take to the stage in Dublin.

As five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld waves farewell to his Dutch army of fans on the second of two nights in Rotterdam, a new Dutch star will be born as World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan plays in front of the sea of orange.

Three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant, who recently won his PDC Tour Card at his first attempt, will make an appearance in Glasgow, while back-to-back World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who landed a nine-dart finish at the Grand Slam of Darts, will compete in Rotterdam’s opening night.

“First of all everyone at the PDC would like to wish Gary Anderson a speedy recovery back to full fitness as soon as possible,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

“Gary’s withdrawal has opened up an incredibly exciting opportunity for the nine contenders to go out and show what they’ve got on some of the biggest stages in world darts.

“The young players who impressed at Alexandra Palace have already shown they can cut it in darts’ biggest ever tournament, while rising stars Max Hopp and Dimitri Van den Bergh have been shining lights in the growth of the sport in recent years.

“The local favourites have earned their chance to entertain the crowds and TV viewers, with every one of them will bringing something different to the Premier League party in 2019, and I’m sure they’ll cause a few shocks along the way.

“The PDC has always been about giving opportunities to players and we felt this was the perfect chance to do something revolutionary, as we now look forward to an exciting year of Premier League Darts ahead in 2019."

Points won by the nine contenders will not count towards the league table, however their opponents will retain any points gained from the matches.

Contenders will receive financial bonuses for winning or drawing their matches.

Following the opening nine nights of fixtures, the player placed ninth on the Premier League table following Judgement Night in Rotterdam will be eliminated from the competition, with the remaining eight players battling it out from nights ten to 16 in the race for the Play-Offs at The O2.

2019 Unibet Premier League Fixtures:
Night One - Thursday February 7
Utilita Arena, Newcastle

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
Chris Dobey v Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Tickets: 0844 493 6666 or click here

Night Two - Thursday February 14
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Rob Cross v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 0844 395 4000 or click here

Night Three - Thursday February 21
3Arena, Dublin

Gerwyn Price v James Wade
Steve Lennon v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0818 719 300 (Ire) or click here

Night Four - Thursday February 28
Westpoint Exeter

Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 08444 99 99 55 or click here

Night Five - Thursday March 7
The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen

Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v John Henderson
Tickets: 08444 77 9000 or click here

Night Six - Thursday March 14
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
James Wade v Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney
Tickets: 0843 373 3000 or click here

Night Seven - Thursday March 21
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin

Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross
James Wade v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Mensur Suljovic
Max Hopp v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 030 20 60 70 88 99 (Ger) or click here

Night Eight - Wednesday March 27
Rotterdam Ahoy

Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
James Wade v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney
Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or click here

Judgement Night - Thursday March 28
Rotterdam Ahoy

Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
James Wade v Michael Smith
Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or click here

Fixtures for Nights Ten-16 will be confirmed following Judgement Night.

Night Ten - Thursday April 4
The SSE Arena, Belfast

Tickets: 028 9073 9074 or click here

Night 11 - Thursday April 11
M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

Tickets: 0344 8000 400 or click here

Night 12 - Thursday April 18
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Tickets: 029 2022 4488 or click here

Night 13 - Thursday April 25
Arena Birmingham

Tickets: 0844 338 0338 or click here

Night 14 - Thursday May 2
The Manchester Arena

Tickets: 0844 249 1000 or click here

Night 15 - Thursday May 9
The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or click here

Night 16 - Thursday May 16
First Direct Arena, Leeds

Tickets: 0844 248 1585 or click here

Play-Offs - Thursday May 23
The O2, London

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or click here