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James Wade is aiming to build on the form he showed last week as bids to be first player to conquer Phil Taylor in the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League when the pair meet in Exeter this evening, while newcomers Michael van Gerwen and Robert Thornton are looking to extend their unbeaten starts.

Wade averaged over 100 in a dominant display to see off Adrian Lewis in Bournemouth but doesn’t believe that averages are the key to cutting ‘The Power’.

“I was pleased with the way I played last week because I have been putting the work in,” said ‘The Machine’, who has collected four points from his three matches so far.

“I hope that is a sign of things to come because I had been a little frustrated. I’ve been practising hard but putting in below par performances. I have been getting decent results though, which shows that averages aren’t everything.

“What I have to do to beat Phil is take out the right shots at the right times. If I do that then I can win the match.”

van Gerwen takes on Andy Hamilton after a enjoying a fantastic victory over Raymond van Barneveld last Thursday.

The Dutch sensation followed that up with an incredible run of 16 consecutive victories, which saw him take both of the opening UK Open qualifier titles in Crawley at the weekend.

‘Mighty Mike’ is in a confident mood as he looks to increase his current points tally of four.

He said: “I’m very happy with my game at the moment and I know I can keep it going.”

“I am very proud of what I am doing right now. It was a great achievement to win both events in Crawley and I would love to go on a run in the Premier League now.

“Every game is difficult though and I won’t be taking Andy for granted. I want to win and will have to bring my best game to do that.”

Thornton will compete in the first ever all Scottish encounter in the nine year history of the televised tournament.

‘The Thorn’ who has also amassed four points with a win and two draws, takes on Gary Anderson.

“It’s absolutely brilliant for Scottish darts,” said Thornton, the wild-card pick who won the UK Open last June.

“Since we joined the PDC, Gary and I have had some humdingers of matches. We wind each other up and spur each other on, and it’s a bit of friendly banter. We know at the end of the night we’ll be mates and it’s all in good fun.”

van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock are in action against each other in Exeter, while Adrian Lewis takes on Wes Newton in the other match of the evening.

By Chris Murphy

Play the Pro