By Danny Carrington
Last Updated: 6th January 2020
The final line-up for this year’s Premier League Darts has been announced and Rod Harrington has given his thoughts exclusively for William Hill ahead of the tournament getting underway next month.
Michael van Gerwen will still head into this year’s Premier League as the favourite, however he now has Peter Wright to contend with after his win in the William Hill World Darts Championship.
Nathan Aspinall and Glen Durrant are the new additions to the Premier League line-up in 2020, while Fallon Sherrock and John Henderson have been confirmed as the first two challengers.
Nine of the sport’s biggest stars will compete in the 16-week tour across Europe from February 6 to May 21 2020, with a different challenger to star in each of the first nine weeks of action.
Aspinall has shot to fame over the past 12 months, with back-to-back World Championship semi-final appearances sandwiching his maiden televised titles at the UK Open and US Darts Masters.
The 28-year-old has moved up to eighth on the PDC Order of Merit and has cemented his status amongst the sport’s elite with his selection to compete in the Premier League phase for the first time.
Durrant, meanwhile, enjoyed a superb maiden year on the PDC circuit in 2019, reaching three televised semi-finals and the World Championship quarter-finals.
Like Aspinall, the three-time Lakeside Champion made his Premier League debut as a contender in the 2019 tournament and has now progressed to compete on a full-time basis this year.
Newly-crowned World Champion Wright and reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen are joined as automatic selections by Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price and World Matchplay and European Championship winner Rob Cross.
Two-time Premier League champion Gary Anderson is among the invited players, alongside 2018 runner-up Michael Smith and 2019 semi-finalist Daryl Gurney.
The tournament, which begins at P&J Live in Aberdeen on Thursday February 6, will feature nine challengers over the opening nine league nights, with the ninth-placed player in the league table being eliminated ‘judgement night’.
Scottish crowd favourite Henderson will be the challenger in Aberdeen on the opening night, having enjoyed an unforgettable night in ‘The Granite City’ in 2019 when he drew with MVG.
Sherrock, meanwhile, will follow up her history-making run at the World Championship and her inclusion in the 2020 World Series of Darts with an appearance at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Thursday February 13.
However, before the Premier League we have The Masters from Milton Keynes which starts on the January 31 and it’s certain that Van Gerwen will want to try and get some authority back after his crushing defeat in the World Championship final.
I actually feel that Van Gerwen has lost a little bit of his edge, which was shown when he missed doubles to win two sets early at Alexandra Palace. This is something he’ll need to put right because now the rest are gunning for him.
2020 Premier League field:
Michael van Gerwen
My thoughts and tips for both The Masters and Premier League will be available on William Hill.