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Stuart Dalgleish 16th Jan 2012 - 12:49

Lewis and Taylor to meet on opening night

WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis will take on Phil Taylor on the opening night of the McCoy's Premier League Darts at the Manchester Arena on Thursday February 9, while reigning champion Gary Anderson plays debutant Kevin Painter.

The £450,000 tournament will see eight stars competing across 14 league nights for places in May's Play-Offs at The O2 in London, meeting twice in the league phase.

The McCoy's Premier League Darts will begin at the Manchester Arena on Thursday February 9, and feature the clash between world number one Taylor - the five-time Premier League winner - and reigning World Champion Lewis.

The Stoke pair also met on the opening night of last year's Premier League, when Lewis won 8-2, and although the 15-time World Champion gained revenge in Birmingham it was the youngster who took a 8-3 win in their semi-final clash as he reached the final.

Gary Anderson, who won last year's Premier League Darts in his debut season in the event, plays Cash Converters Players Championship winner Kevin Painter in Manchester, while another debutant, Andy Hamilton, opens the night when he meets world number three James Wade, the 2009 champion.

The opening night's other match sees Holland's five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld play Australian ace Simon Whitlock.

The sold-out second league night, in Aberdeen, will feature a rematch of the classic 2004 World Championship final as Taylor meets Painter, while Scottish favourite Anderson plays Hamilton, Lewis meets van Barneveld and Whitlock plays Wade.

Lewis and Hamilton meet in a rematch of their recent World Championship final on week three at Belfast's Odyssey Arena, with van Barneveld playing Taylor in another high-profile clash.

Anderson and Lewis will face off in a repeat of the 2011 Premier League final on week four in Exeter, with Whitlock playing Taylor, Painter meeting Wade and van Barneveld facing Hamilton in the other games at the Westpoint Arena.

Taylor and Anderson will clash on week five in Brighton, while the Scot returns north of the border the following Thursday to play Simon Whitlock in front of a sell-out crowd at the SECC in Glasgow.

The McCoy's Premier League Darts' first visit to Dublin on March 22 sees the first half of the league season come to a close at The O2, with the four matches including Taylor against Wade and van Barneveld playing Anderson, while Lewis meets Painter and Hamilton faces Whitlock.

The players will meet each other again in the second half of the league season, which begins at a sold-out Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on March 29 and travels to Nottingham, Sheffield, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle.

The top four players from the final league table will then progress to contest the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on May 17, when the semi-finals and final will be played to determine the champion, who takes home £150,000.

William Hill, the official betting partner of the McCoy's Premier League Darts, make Phil Taylor the 13/8 favourite to win the title for a sixth time in May.

Adrian Lewis is rated at 4/1, with reigning champion Gary Anderson 9/2, 2009 winner James Wade and Simon Whitlock 7/1, Raymond van Barneveld at 20/1 and Kevin Painter & Andy Hamilton 25/1.

Each-way betting is available at 1/3 odds for 1,2 place. For more information, visit www.williamhill.com.

Tickets are still available for most nights of the McCoy's Premier League Darts, costing £35 for floor table seats and £20 for tiered seating plus booking fee (€40/€25 plus booking fee in Dublin), and are still available from each individual venues' Box Office as detailed below.

McCoy's Premier League Darts Fixtures
Week One
February 9 - Manchester Arena
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
Kevin Painter v Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0844 847 8000 or www.mcr-arena.com

Week Two
February 16 - AECC, Aberdeen
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson v Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor v Kevin Painter
Simon Whitlock v James Wade
Tickets: SOLD OUT

Week Three
February 23 - Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Kevin Painter v Simon Whitlock
Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0844 277 4455 or www.ticketmaster.ie

Week Four
March 1 - Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Kevin Painter v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Tickets: 08444 99 99 55 or www.ticketzone.co.uk

Week Five
March 8 - The Brighton Centre
Kevin Painter v Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Simon Whitlock v Adrian Lewis
Tickets: 0844 847 1515 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Week Six
March 15 - SECC, Glasgow
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor v Andy Hamilton
Raymond van Barneveld v Kevin Painter
Tickets: SOLD OUT

Week Seven
March 22 - The O2, Dublin
Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Kevin Painter
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Tickets: 00353 818 719 300 or www.ticketmaster.ie

Week Eight
March 29 - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
James Wade v Simon Whitlock
Andy Hamilton v Gary Anderson
Kevin Painter v Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
Tickets: SOLD OUT

Week Nine
April 5 - Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Kevin Painter v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v James Wade
Andy Hamilton v Phil Taylor
Simon Whitlock v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 08444 124 624 or www.capitalfmarena.com

Week Ten
April 12 - Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Andy Hamilton
Tickets: 0114 256 56 56 or www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk

Week 11
April 19 - BIC, Bournemouth
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Gary Anderson v Kevin Painter
James Wade v Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Tickets: 0844 576 3000 or www.bhlivetickets.co.uk

Week 12
April 26 - Echo Arena, Liverpool
James Wade v Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock
Andy Hamilton v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com

Week 13
May 3 - NIA, Birmingham
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Kevin Painter v Adrian Lewis
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0844 388 0338 or www.theticketfactory.com

Week 14
May 10 - Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Andy Hamilton v Kevin Painter
Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Adrian Lewis v Simon Whitlock
Tickets: 0844 493 6666 or www.metroradioarena.co.uk

May 17 - The O2, London
McCoy's Premier League Darts Semi-Finals
PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final - Michael van Gerwen v James Hubbard
McCoy's Premier League Darts Final
Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or www.theo2.co.uk

Tournament Information
Each player will play every other player twice. Matches to be billed home and away via the player to the left or right of the fixture above, indicating who will throw first in each match (player on the left).
Matches to be played over 14 legs of 501 in the league section of the event. The first player to win eight legs will be deemed to be the winner of the match and no further legs will be played after this point. Two points are awarded for a win and one point awarded for a draw.
The top four players in the league table after the completion of the 14 league nights will progress to the play-offs at The O2 in London.
Each night will begin at 7pm and be screened live on Sky Sports HD.

Prize Fund
Winner: £150,000
Runner-Up: £70,000
Semi-Finalists: £50,000
5th Place: £40,000
6th Place: £35,000
7th Place: £30,000
8th Place: £25,000
Total: £450,000

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