Premier League Darts: Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton headline Night Two
Price and Clayton - who led Wales to World Cup of Darts glory in 2020 - will aim to kickstart their Premier League campaigns on home soil, after suffering quarter-final defeats to Nathan Aspinall and Dimitri Van den Bergh respectively in Belfast last week. Welsh number one Price will open his challenge against high-flying Chris Dobey, who heads to the Welsh capital fresh from a stunning victory at The SSE Arena last Thursday. Dobey, the newly crowned Cazoo Masters champion, defeated Michael van Gerwen in a thrilling Night One final to triumph in Belfast, but Price is in positive mood ahead of their quarter-final clash. "I cannot wait - Cardiff is one of the more intimate venues," revealed 2021 World Champion Price, featuring in his fifth Premier League campaign. "I always say the smaller the venue - like the [World] Matchplay - the better the atmosphere, so I am really looking forward to playing in Cardiff. This is the big one for me! "I'm up against Chris on Thursday so it's going to be another tough game. "Chris is playing really well off the back of the Masters and his win in Belfast, but hopefully I can get a good result on home soil." Dobey is riding the crest of a wave following a whirlwind two weeks, and he tops the embryonic Premier League table following wins over Peter Wright, Aspinall and Van Gerwen on Night One. The Bedlington star also scooped the £10,000 nightly bonus for his exploits in Northern Ireland, and is confident of extending his eight-game winning run in Cardiff. "I have shown that I can win against the world's best and I'm living the dream," admitted Dobey, who converted 160 and 170 checkouts in his 6-5 success against Van Gerwen. "I will just take every game as it comes. It's a nice feeling to be top of the table, but there's a long way to go yet. "I've got a tough start again in Cardiff against Gezzy, but I'll be ready for that test. "Every game is a test for me because I'm new to all of this and I'm loving it. I'm getting a taste of it now and I want to be part of this all the time." Thursday's action in Cardiff will begin with a blockbuster clash between Clayton and World Champion Michael Smith, who are both searching for their first points of the 2023 season. Clayton, the Premier League champion in 2021, boasts a magnificent record in the sport's biggest roadshow, and he's relishing his latest showdown with world number one Smith. "The reception in Cardiff is always absolutely phenomenal," said Clayton, who finished top of last year's league phase courtesy of wins in Liverpool, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Glasgow. "I've got the World Champion and world number one to start, so it's not going to be an easy task, but I'm feeling good. "I played Michael here three years ago when I was a Challenger and he beat me 7-1, so tomorrow night I hope it's revenge! "Winning a Premier League night in Cardiff would rank right up there as one of my best achievements. It would be a dream come true and hopefully it's my night." Elsewhere, 2020 runner-up Aspinall is hoping to build upon his semi-final showing on Night One when he faces two-time World Champion Wright for a place in the last four. The pair were denied by Dobey in Belfast, but having celebrated his Premier League return with a quarter-final win over Price, Aspinall is relishing his chance to be back amongst the darting big time. "It was a tough five or six months with my injury last year, but that's all in the past now and I'm back amongst the elite," said Aspinall, the World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts runner-up in the latter stages of 2022. "The last 12 months have been brilliant for me, but there's a lot more in the tank and a lot more I can do in my career, and hopefully I can start in Cardiff. "I just love the format of the Premier League. You're playing the big boys, and if you can't get up for a match against the elite, you shouldn't be playing the game. "I think I show a bit more focus, a bit more intensity, because I am playing the best of the best every single week, and I just love beating the big names." Thursday's other quarter-final tie will see reigning champion Van Gerwen play Van den Bergh in a repeat of last week's semi-final tie, which saw the Dutchman run out a 6-4 winner. Van Gerwen occupies second spot in the table above Van den Bergh and Aspinall, with Smith, Wright, Price and Clayton bidding to open their accounts on Night Two. The 2023 Cazoo Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN, Viaplay and VTM, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.
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