PREVIEW – Unibet Masters

The darts returns to our screens this weekend with the 4th edition of the Unibet Masters. This years tournament will see 16 players pitched against eachother in a two day knockout competition, with the champion collecting a healthy sum of £60,000.

Michael van Gerwen was runaway winner last time out, beating fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld in Sunday’s final. michael van gerwen unibet mastersArena MK will host eight first round matches, separated into two sessions throughout Saturday. Sunday afternoon sees the quarter finals take place, while the contest is concluded Sunday evening.

MVG begins his defence against Stephen Bunting, a player that has blown hot and cold in two years with a PDC. Though it should be plain sailing for the world number one, Bunting has previously produced some scintillating displays of high scoring, and this could rock van Gerwen in the short format.

Reigning World Champion Gary Anderson will look to carry his momentum from Ally Pally into Milton Keynes. The flying Scotsman beat opponent Vincent van der Voort during his World Championship run and should breeze through into the final eight.

In a rerun of the last months scintillating round of 16 clash, forth seed Phil Taylor faces Jelle Klaasen. jelle klaasen 2The Dutchman went on to reach the semi-finals and looked to be in contention for the Premier League. Many have questioned Taylor’s desire in recent months, a tough opening match may be what’s needed to get the Power firing once again.

In another replay of the 2016 World Championship Raymond van Barneveld will look to repeat his sensational comeback to defeat former Youth Champion Smith. The St Helen’s won the PDC’s Young player of the year earlier this month and will look to build on last years success, starting with a victory over Barney.

New world number three Adrian Lewis will look to end his trophy drought, but faces an inconsistent Kim Huybrechts. The Belgian has shown in sparks what he can do but will now look to add consistency to his game.

Premier League new boy Robert Thornton was one of just three players to win a major last season, and he kicks off 2016 against Dave Chisnall. The yellow peril has criminally underachieved during his five years with the PDC, but could this be Chizzy’s year.dave chsinall 2

Ian White is a name that looked to be on course for a coveted Premier League spot until crashing and burning in the early rounds at Ally Pally. In the colourful Peter Wright his faces a fiery opponent that has more than enough potential to charge through and win a major himself.

In the final found round match, James Wade will look to continue a largely positive record against the Bull Terry Jenkins. The Machine has won five of the last six meetings but found himself berift of the premium pack in this years World Championship. Despite retaining his Premier League spot, Wade will last year as a disappointment, and will look forward to better things this term.

Saturday January 30
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
First Round x4
Robert Thornton v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Terry Jenkins
Peter Wright v Ian White
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
First Round x4
Adrian Lewis v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting

Sunday January 31
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Quarter-Finals
Lewis/Huybrechts v Wade/Jenkins
Anderson/van der Voort v Thornton/Chisnall
Taylor/Klaasen v Wright/White
van Gerwen/Bunting v Smith/van Barneveld

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Semi-Finals
Final

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