SIMON WHITLOCK is aiming to take revenge on Raymond van Barneveld when the pair meet in the 888.com Premier League Darts in Aberdeen on Thursday.
Van Barneveld produced one of the Premier League’s finest displays when the pair met in Nottingham in the second week of this year’s tournament, hitting four ton-plus finishes in an 8-3 defeat of Whitlock.
The Australian, though, could move level with van Barneveld on ten points in the Premier League table with a victory at the AECC in their clash.
“He was ruthless the last time we played – every time I hit a 180 he went out on a massive finish,” said Whitlock. “Raymond was brilliant on that night and he’s having a good season.
“I’ve got a good record against him and I’m confident going into it. If I can get a win it can put me in the top four, and that’s where I want to be at the end of the season to make the play-offs.”
The night could also prove crucial to the play-off ambitions of Terry Jenkins, Mark Webster and James Wade, the league’s bottom three who are three wins away from the top four with six games remaining.
Wade will take on World Champion Adrian Lewis in Aberdeen, having produced his best performance of the season when the pair met in Nottingham to take an 8-6 win.
Lewis avenged a loss to Mark Webster earlier in the season by defeating the left-hander 8-1 last week, and is aiming to gain similar revenge on Wade in Aberdeen.
“It was James’ highest average when we played last time, and it was the same when Mark Webster played me in Exeter too and hit a 110 average,” said Lewis.
“I’m the World Champion and I expect people to do that against me, but I’m ready for them, as I showed last week. If I can win my next two games, I think I will be certain to finish in the top four, and making the play-offs is the first target.”
Left-hander Webster has lost his last four games and endured a heavy defeat to Lewis in Cardiff a week ago, but is aiming to upset the 15-time World Champion Taylor in Scotland.
“I’ve got to restore a bit of pride because I’ve been playing terribly,” said Webster. “I’m not playing well at the minute, and when you’re in the Premier League you’re in the spotlight and you’ve got to produce.
“I’ll keep trying hard and that’s all I can do. I’m playing Phil on Thursday and it would be great to get a positive result against him.”
Taylor won his seventh successive game with an 8-3 win over Raymond van Barneveld, and sits four points clear at the top of the table.
“Mark’s been up and down,” said Taylor. “He’s played okay during the league but has been getting beaten and it’s hit his confidence.
“I can’t afford to be charitable though because he had a couple of massive finishes against me the last time we played, including a 170, and I know how good he can be on his day.”
The night’s other game sees Jenkins, who has picked up five points so far, face Scottish ace Gary Anderson.
Anderson was defeated 8-3 in his previous Premier League appearance on home soil last month, when Lewis hit back from 3-0 down to take victory in a game overshadowed by the actions of a small element in the Glasgow crowd.
“I hope I can enjoy it this time,” said Anderson. “What happened in Glasgow was disappointing but when I won against James Wade last week I managed to put it behind me.
“It’s an honour to play in front of Scottish crowds and I’m looking forward to a good game against Terry.”
888.com Premier League Darts
Week Nine – AECC, Aberdeen
Gary Anderson v Terry Jenkins
Adrian Lewis v James Wade
Mark Webster v Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Live on Sky Sports HD2 from 7pm and to PDCtv International Pass subscribers at the www.pdc.tv website.
888sport.com Match Odds
Gary Anderson 8/15, Draw 4/1, Terry Jenkins 3/1
Adrian Lewis 8/11, Draw 15/4, James Wade 9/4
Mark Webster 6/1, Draw 6/1, Phil Taylor 2/9
Raymond van Barneveld 11/10, Draw 7/2, Simon Whitlock 6/4
Odds courtesy 888sport.com and correct at 12pm on April 6 2011.