PREMIER LEAGUE GOES DOUBLE DUTCH AT ROTTERDAM AHOY
THE Premier League's double-header at Rotterdam Ahoy begins on Wednesday as Rob Cross and Gary Anderson compete twice on a huge night of darts in the Netherlands.
An additional league night at Rotterdam Ahoy was added to the Premier League schedule recently following March's cancellation of the Exeter night due to the effects of Storm Emma.
With Judgement Night having been moved back a week to be held in Liverpool, Wednesday's matches in Rotterdam will form the second night of the second phase of the event.
The night will see World Champion Cross, who has won seven of his last eight games, competing twice as he meets Daryl Gurney before returning to take on Anderson.
Cross will also play Peter Wright on Thursday to conclude a huge week for the Premier League season, and is in confident mood ahead of his first appearance in Rotterdam.
"The arena looks massive and it's going to be special," said Cross, who visited Rotterdam Ahoy for the first time on Tuesday afternoon.
"I remember a year ago I watched this on TV and all the orange in the crowd was amazing, the support which turns up for Barney and Michael.
"I won't look too far ahead and I'll take one game at a time. I'm really happy with my game at the minute so I'm really looking forward to it.
"I've got in-form players too this week but the idea is to get six points and hopefully cement my place in the top four. I could leave Rotterdam and be in a bad place, or I could leave Rotterdam and be in a good place!"
Anderson sits in fourth place on the league table following his win over Wright in Sheffield last Thursday, and takes on Michael Smith before his clash with Cross.
"It was absolutely massive in Rotterdam last year and I can't wait, it will be fantastic to be back in Holland," said Anderson, who also plays Gurney on Thursday.
"I've got three games to play this week so it's going to be tough but I'll take each game as it comes.
"Now we're past the cut-off, everyone's looking at the Play-Offs now. Every game's important and I'm doing okay so far but I want to keep winning because every two points can make the difference."
World number one and reigning Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen will meet Wright on Wednesday ahead of his all-Dutch battle with Raymond van Barneveld 24 hours later.
Van Gerwen now sits four points clear at the top of the table following eight successive wins, and said: "I hope I can do some more great things and I'm really looking forward to Rotterdam.
"I'm in good form and enjoying the Premier League so far, and I have to focus first on playing Peter Wright. I want to perform in front of my own crowd.
"It's going to be brilliant, like the last couple of years, and there's a lot of pressure on my shoulders but I've shown before that I can handle that."
Wright is aiming to silence the home crowd when he takes on Van Gerwen in a repeat of the 2017 Premier League final - having been the only player to defeat the Dutchman so far this season.
"It's a make-or-break week and I can't wait," said Wright. "For the players who've never experienced it before out there, it's a very difficult atmosphere to deal with and if you can't then you're going to lose, but I love playing out there."
Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld is hoping to bounce back from his double defeat in Sheffield last week by being cheered to victory against Simon Whitlock on Wednesday.
"I couldn't believe it that we got another night and a double-header in Rotterdam - it's fantastic," said Van Barneveld.
"The first year here I was in tears, and it was amazing last year too so I'm hoping this is going to be the same as the first two years.
"I'm really looking forward to both games, first of all Simon Whitlock and then a game against Michael which should be amazing. I'm going to do my best to have a good result.
"If I can win both games, anything is possible. I never give up and I'm going to do my very best to win two games."
World Grand Prix champion Gurney is another player making his debut in Rotterdam, and the Northern Irish ace is aiming to maintain the form which has seen him remain unbeaten for six matches when he plays Cross.
"I've got a couple of big games this week and I want to improve on what I did last week," said Gurney, who impressed in a win over Van Barneveld in Sheffield.
"I beat Rob in Belfast but it was one of those nights where if I'd thrown them over my shoulder they possibly could have gone in, but I'm looking forward to playing him again.
"I'm happy to be in with a shout of getting into the top four and playing against the best players in the world. I want to go up there and compete and win games."
The Premier League nights at Rotterdam Ahoy will also be supporting charity partner Fonds Gehandicaptensport, the Dutch Sports Disability Foundation.
The Dutch Sports Disability Foundation work to enable people with a physical or mental disability to participate in sport and to expand the supply and quality of sports facilities across the Netherlands.
Ahead of the event, a team of para-darters took on Van Gerwen, Van Barneveld and Cross in a special meet-and-greet event at Rotterdam Ahoy.
Eleventh Night's Matches
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
Twelfth Night's Matches
Simon Whitlock v Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney v Gary Anderson
Rob Cross v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney v Simon Whitlock