Darts legend Phil Taylor admits he is ‘fighting for his career’ when he aims to continue his Betway Premier League resurgence against Apocalypse 2 star Gary Anderson tonight.
The 16-time World Champion has lifted the lid on his worst-ever start to a season and said he is now battling back to reclaim not only his global title but top spot in the PDC Order of Merit.
Taylor is now unbeaten since week five in Exeter, ominously moving into the top four, a point ahead of Anderson, who part of a dazzling bill for December’s Apocalypse event in Stevenage.
Taylor picked up a European Tour victory on Easter Monday when he defeated Michael van Gerwen in the German Masters final and is keen to push on now to claim a play-off place during week 12 in Manchester.
“I’m fighting for my career, to see if I can get back to world number one and World Champion one more time, but my main objective is to get to the Premier League play-offs,” said Taylor.
“I’ve got to improve on Thursday against Gary. He’s been playing superbly and last Thursday against Adrian he was brilliant.
“In my opinion, Gary is one of the best players I’ve ever played against so this is a massive game for me. I want to get to the play-offs and he’s in my way, so I’m focusing on him and only him.
“I’m a big fan of his and when he hits his doubles he’s virtually unbeatable, and I know how to play him and what I’ve got to do – play out of my skin and average 110 to put him off.”
Anderson, the 2011 Premier League champion, has also shown a return to his best form this year with four PDC ProTour victories, and has won three of his last four games to keep pace with the top four.
The Scot will follow his meeting with Taylor with a clash against fellow countryman Robert Thornton later in the evening, and could jump above Taylor – or Peter Wright – in the table with a pair of victories.
“People said I was finished but I’m trying to prove them wrong,” said Anderson. “I had a struggle for two years, but since the World Championship I’ve been trying to get back to the top.
“It’s not quite 100 per cent but it’s getting there. The top four is still open and anyone could qualify – and if I win both matches I’ll be in there this week.
“To get one win out of two would be good and it would be great to win both, which is what I’ll be trying to do – but I know how tough it’s going to be because I’m up against two fantastic players.”
Anderson joins UK Sports Management aces Justin Pipe, Ian White and Kevin Painter at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on Saturday, December 6 for Apocalypse 2.
Favourites Keith Deller, Eric Bristow and John Lowe also feature, alongside popular pairing Steve Beaton and Terry Jenkins. Tickets are selling fast and are available from our ticket shop.
Picture by Lawrence Lustig/PDC