By Alex Moss
18 MAY 2017 • 2:13PM
Michael van Gerwen is intending to be at his ruthless best when he attempts to defend his Betway Premier League title at The O2 tonight.
The reigning Premier League champion topped the league table for a fifth successive season with a 7-4 win over Gary Anderson in Aberdeen last week.
And the world number one is now bidding to claim his third title at The O2 as he, along with Anderson, Peter Wright and Phil Taylor chase the £250,000 first prize when they contest the play-offs in London tonight.
“It’s time for business now,” said the world number one, who faces Anderson in the first semi-final this evening.
“I feel good and I know I’m playing well – I had a good game when I had to play well last week against Gary and I have to do the same tonight.
“They know what they have to do to beat me if they want to win the tournament, but I need to make sure I hold them off by playing some good darts and putting them under pressure.
“It’s four good players and you can’t let them have a sniff of the trophy, because if you give them a finger they will take your hand. I want to win the trophy again and it would be really special if I can.”
Van Gerwen’s semi-final opponent Anderson is aiming to follow up his 2011 and 2015 Premier League triumphs by completing his own hat-trick tonight.
“It would be nice to win it again and if I play well I’ve got a good chance,” the world number two said.
“You’ve got to beat everyone that’s in front of you and whoever turns up on the night is going to walk away with the trophy.
“It’s always going to be hard anyway but it’s going to be interesting because it’s Phil’s last, it’s Peter’s first time here and both me and Michael have won it twice, so it’s all to play for.”
Betway Premier League Play-Offs
Thursday May 18, The O2, London
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
Best of 19 legs
Van Gerwen/Anderson v Wright/Taylor
Best of 21 legs