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James Wade and Michael van Gerwen will go head to head in the semi-finals of the McCoy’s Premier League on Thursday, when the final four will compete for the prestigious title.

Wade, a former winner of the £520,000 tournament, meets ‘Mighty Mike’ who topped the table in his debut season, as the 14 week elite darts showcase reaches its climax at London’s O2 Arena.

Raymond van Barneveld takes on defending champion Phil Taylor in the other clash of a semi-final line-up that is identical to the last four stage of January’s World Championship.

Seven-time PDC major title winner Wade believes that the tournament, which he won in 2009, is there for the taking.

“I really don’t think anyone can confidently pick a winner this year,” said ‘The Machine’.

“You’ve got four quality players, who are all capable of fantastic things so it’s all on the night.

“Michael van Gerwen is playing brilliant but we’ve had some close games recently. I’ll just concentrate on my own game and I know I what I can do.

“His strength his scoring and mine is finishing so I hope we both go up and play our best games because it could be something really great.

“I want to win a couple of majors this year and I’m hoping the first one comes my way on Thursday.”

World number two van Gerwen is chasing his second televised success in the PDC after losing two major finals since winning the World Grand Prix in October.

He said: “I want to win this Premier League. Finishing first in the table was a nice thing for me but now I have to follow it up.

“I have two more matches hopefully and I need to win them both.

“Everybody keeps saying I will win a lot in the future but you never know how your form might change.

“I’m playing well now and I want to make it count now.”

van Barneveld has set his sights on reaching a first Premier League final after five unsuccessful attempts.

But the Dutchman knows he has his work cut out against a player he is yet to beat in the competition.

“I had a good chance to beat Phil Taylor in the league this year,” said ‘Barney’, the five-time World Champion.

“But maybe that wasn’t my time. I hope Thursday night is. If I play like I can then I can do it.

“Five times I have lost in the semis so to make the final, just once, would be great for me and to win the whole tournament would be a dream come true.”

Whoever does take glory on Thursday will scoop a £150,000 first prize – the second largest winners cheque on the PDC tour.

By Chris Murphy

Individual previews can be viewed at the players’ official websites: James Wade – www.jameswade.co.uk / Michael van Gerwen – www.michaelvangerwen.tv / Raymond van Barneveld – www.barneyuk.tv



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