MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will begin his defence of the Premier League Darts title with a mouthwatering opening tie in Newcastle next month.
The world number one will face Gary Anderson in a repeat of their recent World Championship final, which saw the Dutchman lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for the second time.
The clash between the world’s top two will take place on Thursday February 9 as the 2017 Premier League season gets underway.
Van Gerwen takes on Peter Wright in Nottingham the following week, before meeting Jelle Klaasen in Leeds.
On Feb 23, ‘Mighty Mike’ will take on Adrian Lewis in Brighton, before playing James Wade in Exeter a week later.
He will then travel to Glasgow to face Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts before taking on Phil Taylor on a return to his native Netherlands on March 16, when the tournament visits Rotterdam for the second time.
Night eight sees Van Gerwen go up against Dutch compatriot Raymond van Barneveld in Manchester, with the confirmed fixtures being completed on ‘Judgement Night’ in Cardiff, where he takes on Dave Chisnall – as two players will be eliminated from the ten-man field.
The remaining eight players will then compete in Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield and Aberdeen, before the top four fight it out for the title in the Play-Offs at London’s O2 on May 18.