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Nic Ladds 29th Feb 2012 - 13:45

Anderson in good shape for Lewis clash as Premier League heads to Exeter

Reigning McCoy's Premier League Darts champion Gary Anderson is looking to maintain his return to form when he faces World Champion Adrian Lewis at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter on Thursday.

Scottish star Anderson produced his best performance since reaching November's Grand Slam of Darts final when he averaged 102 in defeating James Wade 8-5 in Belfast a week ago.

The win was his second successive in the Premier League since losing to Kevin Painter in the opening week - he also picked up two points against Andy Hamilton in Aberdeen - and Anderson now hopes to continue his resurgence on Thursday.

"It should be a great match in Exeter and it's a night I'm really looking forward to," said Anderson, who defeated Lewis 10-4 in last year's Premier League final.
"Adrian's won the last two World Championships and carried on that form into the Premier League and I've won my last two games and my form's coming back.

"We always have good games and our styles probably complement each other; we're both pretty quick players who get into a rhythm."

As the most local of the eight Premier League stars, Somerset-based Anderson will be hoping to receive plenty of support from the 4,000-strong Westpoint Arena crowd.

"Justin Pipe's probably the closest player out of all the professionals and I'm the next one up the road from Exeter," said Anderson.
"It would be nice to have some local support and I want to give the crowd plenty to cheer about."

Lewis enters the clash unbeaten, having drawn all three of his games so far this season - producing an 11-darter in the deciding leg of his clash with Andy Hamilton in Belfast last week to claim a point.
"Gary's coming back into a bit of form," said Lewis. "He has been struggling and it's not been the Gary Anderson we know, but you can't take him lightly.
"It's going to be tough but I'm looking forward to it and I've got to go up there and do the job against Gary.
"I'll have to start quickly because in the last couple of weeks I've started slowly and it's given the players I'm playing a bit of confidence."

World number one Phil Taylor also travels to Exeter on a high, having picked up two wins and a draw in the opening three weeks, twice averaging over 112 and also hitting a nine-dart finish against Kevin Painter in Aberdeen.

Taylor plays Simon Whitlock in Exeter in a repeat of the 2010 World Championship final, as he seeks to maintain his cushion at the top of the table.

"I'm loving every minute of the McCoy's Premier League so far," said Taylor. "The crowds have been fantastic, I'm enjoying it and I'm getting some great results.
"Simon's a top quality player but he showed last week that he was feeling a bit of pressure when he lost to Kevin Painter in Belfast.
"I've got to go out and put him under pressure from the start and make him think about the week before, which will make it hard for him."

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld plays Andy Hamilton, who has picked up one win and a draw in his opening three matches since being handed a Premier League Darts Wildcard in January.

"I'm not worried about Raymond - I think he should be worried about me," said Hamilton, who reached the World Championship final in the New Year but has not defeated the Dutchman since 2006.

"I've come back strongly this year and I'm looking forward to playing Raymond in Exeter. I've got a massive amount of respect for him but I'll be fighting for every leg."

The night's opening game sees 2009 champion James Wade look to end his run of three straight defeats when he plays Kevin Painter - who has won two of his first three Premier League matches.

"I've come into this Premier League like Andy Hamilton as an underdog but I've won two games out of three, so I'm doing alright," said Painter, who won his first major title last December at the Cash Converters Players Championship.
"The most important aspect in the Premier League is finishing, and when I'm getting chances at a double I'm hitting them. If I can up my scoring a little bit I'll continue to do some damage!"

Wade reached the World Championship semi-finals in the New Year but has yet to reproduce that form in defeats to Hamilton, Whitlock and Anderson in the opening three weeks of the Premier League.

"I reached the final in 2010 and didn't win any of my first five games, but it would be nice just to have a win," said Wade. "It's a frustrating start but I can't keep playing so badly."

A small number of tickets for the McCoy's Premier League Darts remain on sale from the Westpoint Arena on 08444 99 99 55.

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McCoy's Premier League Darts
Week Four - Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Thursday March 1, 7pm
Kevin Painter v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis

Live on Sky Sports HD1, 7pm
Tickets: 08444 99 99 55 or www.ticketzone.co.uk

Week Four Match Odds, courtesy of www.williamhill.com
Kevin Painter v James Wade
6/4 Kevin Painter
9/2 Draw
10/11 James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
8/11 Raymond van Barneveld
5/1 Draw
7/4 Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
16/5 Simon Whitlock
5/1 Draw
4/9 Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Evs Gary Anderson
9/2 Draw
11/8 Adrian Lewis

William Hill are the official betting partner of the McCoy's Premier League Darts.

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