2020 Unibet Premier League Play-Offs preview
The 2020 Unibet Premier League will reach its climax with the Play-Offs on Thursday at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, as the top four return for the semi-finals and final.
Glen Durrant, Peter Wright, Nathan Aspinall and Gary Anderson, the top four players from the league table, will compete in one final night of action to conclude a tournament which began in Aberdeen in February.
Due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the final ten league phase nights were played in Milton Keynes in August and September, as an exciting conclusion to the league saw Durrant become just the third player top the table since the competition's inception in 2005.
The three-time Lakeside Champion enjoyed a dream debut year in the Premier League, losing just once in his first 14 matches, and Durrant now has the title in his sights.
"I'm here to win it and I feel really good," said Durrant. "This is the biggest night of my darting life now.
"According to the bookies I'm the underdog, which you can probably understand given I'm the only one of the four not to have won a TV title in the PDC.
"I've worked a lot mentally to get back to basics. I've been working on my throw to get it back to where it was around a month ago during the Premier League at Milton Keynes.
"This could be the biggest night of my career. To be a Premier League champion would be something pretty special."
Durrant will play in the night's opening semi-final against Anderson, the only player of the four to have previously lifted the title following his successes in 2011 and 2015.
Having suffered an injury-ravaged 2019 which saw him miss the Premier League, the two-time World Champion has returned in style this year, earning a Play-Off place for the first time since 2017.
"I'm looking forward to it. I feel refreshed after spending a few days at home with the family," said Anderson, a quarter-finalist in the World Grand Prix last week.
"It's not been a great few years for me on the oche so to nick a title would be nice at this stage in my life.
"It all comes down to one night so I need try to use everything I've learned over the last 25 years to pull it out the bag.
"Glen has done brilliant to win the league in difficult circumstances in his first year. I think all four of us will be up for this, I'm sure everyone will be on top form."
Anderson's fellow Scot Wright takes on Aspinall in the night's second semi-final, and the World Champion is confident of banishing memories of missed darts for the title in 2017.
Wright insists he won't make the same mistakes again and believes he is rightly installed as 13/8 favourite by Unibet.
"The form I'm in I think I should be favourite, to be fair," said a confident Wright.
"I said from the start 'if I qualify I'll win it'. I said the same about reaching the World Championship final.
"I've made mistakes in the past in these big finals but I showed in the World Championship final I've learned from my mistakes, so I won't be missing seven darts for the title this time!"
Like Durrant, Aspinall has also enjoyed a dream first year in the Premier League, showing plenty of emotion as he made it through a congested field into the top four on the final night of league phase action.
The two-time TV event winner suffered first round exits at the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix, but insists a return to form is just around the corner.
"To win it would be a dream come true," said Aspinall. "These are the nights you dream of playing when you first start out in the sport.
"I showed great character to make it to the final four, I won big games when I needed to so hopefully I can carry on doing that on Thursday.
"I think consistently I was one of the best players over the 16 nights so I think I deserve my place here.
"Both semis and the final will be close games that will come down to a couple of key moments."
Live coverage of Unibet Premier League Play-Offs will be shown on Sky Sports, as well as through the PDC's international broadcast partners including RTL7 and DAZN and for PDCTV Rest of the World Subscribers.
Glen Durrant v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall