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Monday, April 22, 2024

Luke Littler vs Michael van Gerwen: Darts’ new rivalry continues in Manchester within the Premier League | Darts Information

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Six matches, three wins every. Luke Littler vs Michael van Gerwen has change into a box-office match that no darts fan can miss and we get the most recent contest on Thursday within the Premier League – dwell on Sky Sports activities Darts.

Littler’s meteoric rise on the 2024 World Darts Championship, the place he completed runner-up to Luke Humphries, has been backed up with some unbelievable performances in the previous couple of months.

Two weeks after Alexandra Palace, Littler made a nine-darter in his quarter-final win towards Nathan Aspinall on the Bahrain Darts Masters and met Van Gerwen within the remaining on January 19.

It was the primary of many conferences between two of darts’ most proficient gamers and Littler got here out on prime 8-5 to elevate his first senior PDC title on his World Collection debut.

Van Gerwen vowed he would be certain that he was higher for the following time the pair met and would “get” Littler. He did precisely that only a week in a while dwelling soil on the Dutch Darts Masters.

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Have a look again on the breathtaking debut from Littler as {the teenager} made historical past on the World Darts Championship

Quick revenge for Van Gerwen

The three-time world champion was removed from his greatest through the occasion. After a comeback win over Raymond van Barneveld, he did not present an excessive amount of high quality towards Gian van Veen within the semi-finals.

Nonetheless, like all nice sportspeople do, when it mattered most Van Gerwen delivered as he went face to face with Littler within the remaining.

The pair have been going punch for punch and there was nothing to separate them till the final leg when Van Gerwen punished a missed 170 from Littler to win 8-6.

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Littler has some robust decisons to make about his favorite Manchester United gamers in ‘Winner Stays On’

“Luke put me beneath a lot stress,” mentioned Van Gerwen, who received his sixteenth World Collection of Darts crown.

“Luke has a really brilliant future forward of him. Everyone knows that, however you continue to need to cease him, and you need to do the best issues towards him, which is what I did tonight.

“His scoring energy is immense so you need to carry on combating, however I’m glad that I used to be in a position to.

“I’ve had some actually robust matches in finals over the past 12 months. I underperformed a whole lot of instances, but it surely’s necessary to maintain your combating spirit and by no means surrender.”

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Can Manchester United’s Harry Maguire or Christian Eriksen beat Littler within the darts problem?!

Littler and Van Gerwen’s parallels

Earlier than Littler was born, Van Gerwen was making his personal darts breakthrough with unbelievable wins over Van Barneveld and Phil Taylor, who have been the game’s greatest names after their memorable 2007 World Championship remaining.

Van Gerwen was simply 17 years {old} and likewise made a televised nine-darter in his first marketing campaign on the PDC tour. Littler made his first two days earlier than his seventeenth birthday.

On the finish of 2007, in Van Gerwen’s first PDC World Championship match, he memorably missed a match dart to defeat Taylor within the opening spherical. Who is aware of what would have occurred if that went in? Maybe a path to the ultimate like Littler?

Littler continues to tear up the report books with a number of junior triumphs and received his first senior darts title on the Irish Open in 2021 as a 14-year-old.

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Will Littler be topped world champion? The darting sensation put collectively this unbelievable nine-darter when he was 14 (Credit score: JDC)

Remarkably, Littler is competing within the Premier League Darts because the reigning World Youth champion and Sky Sports activities Darts‘ Wayne Mardle was in awe of {the teenager} when he started to make headlines on the World Championship.

“I am a darts fan at the beginning, I used to be watching it and I had goosebumps watching him. I like individuals attaining and that was a boy attaining one thing on the world stage,” mentioned Mardle.

“We could by no means see the like once more. We noticed it with Phil Taylor after which we noticed it with Michael van Gerwen. This can be the third coming of that. I do not know, however I am a bit bit carried away.”

Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler
Littler and Van Gerwen each burst onto the darts scene as youngsters

Two wins apiece in Premier League Darts 2024

The format of the Premier League Darts means the world’s greatest eight gamers meet each Thursday over 17 weeks.

Littler and Van Gerwen have already performed one another 4 instances and are presently locked at 2-2 of their face to face.

On Evening 2 in early February, Littler missed two match darts within the Berlin remaining and Van Gerwen punished him to win 6-5 and let loose an enormous roar when he received, underlining how a lot it meant for the Dutchman to beat {the teenager}.

Two weeks later in Newcastle, Van Gerwen snatched victory once more from Littler in a deciding leg, this time within the semi-finals, and he went on to win the evening.

Nonetheless, the final two matches have gone Littler’s means. On Evening 7 in Nottingham, Littler averaged a sensational 114 with a surprising 6-2 quarter-final victory over Van Gerwen. That was the match the place Van Gerwen “completed off” Littler’s nine-darter try.

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Littler simply misses out on a nine-darter on path to a formidable Premier League win over Van Gerwen in Nottingham

A fortnight later and Littler took full benefit of a below-par Van Gerwen with a 6-3 win, so arguably enters their newest assembly this Thursday in Manchester as slight favorite.

“He does what he likes. I feel this is likely to be the way in which ahead for a lot of gamers. Don’t be concerned about it and get on with it,” mentioned Mardle.

“It is simply nice to look at. He so jogs my memory of Michael [van Gerwen]. I do not see a ceiling in his recreation, I simply assume that he can play in addition to he likes typically.

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Littler defeated Michael van Gerwen 6-3 final week within the Belfast semi-finals

“Take a look at the 114 common he had towards MVG a number of weeks in the past, I simply see that he can do these wonderful issues with a set of 22g tungsten. It is simply insanity what he can do at such a ripe {old} age of 17.

“I’ve by no means seen anybody be like Michael van Gerwen. In all probability the closest anybody got here, or possibly even higher, was Eric Bristow at 17. Not dangerous names to be related with.”

A rivalry with loads of respect

If we ignore Littler’s youth for a second, he’s merely top-of-the-line gamers in darts proper now together with Humphries and Van Gerwen.

Certainly, Humphries would say he’s the third horse on this race in relation to battling it out to be on prime.

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Luke Littler edges previous Luke Humphries to place an finish to the world champion’s Premier League successful streak.

After his German Darts Grand Prix victory over MVG on Monday, the world No 1 mentioned: “I feel the 2 greatest gamers on this planet have been combating it out. I do know 8-1 is a little bit of a flattering rating however me and Michael may have many finals sooner or later.

“The best way I’ve performed this weekend is the degrees you need to be to win – that is how loopy the sport’s received and that is how good you need to be to beat the likes of Michael.

“He is been right here for 10 years, constantly top-of-the-line gamers on this planet and I look as much as him so much, so to beat him in one other remaining is unbelievable.

“I simply love enjoying him to be trustworthy, he exhibits a whole lot of respect and it was an incredible remaining. That is elite sport – typically it is your day and immediately was my day.”

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Wayne Mardle discusses simply how proficient Luke Littler is and compares {the teenager} to the likes of Michael Van Gerwen and Eric Bristow.

Even MVG added: “I feel at this second he’s the most effective participant and all of us must face it, we’ve to battle however he additionally is aware of this isn’t going to run ceaselessly. He is enjoying some cracking darts, I’ve to confess that.”

Whereas Humphries may have his say within the years to come back about who’s the participant to beat, and we should not neglect about him, Van Gerwen for the most effective a part of a decade has been THAT participant.

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Van Gerwen beat Littler within the semi-final of the Premier League on Evening 4 in Newcastle

He held the world No 1 spot for seven years between 2014 and 2021 however his punchy persona and people iconic adrenaline rushes he will get on stage simply make him so watchable.

Then again, Littler is simply so composed on and off the oche. He informed Sky Sports activities through the World Championship that it is one thing he is at all times had since rising up in Warrington.

Littler actually is only a regular teenager who has a really particular expertise to play darts.

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Van Gerwen was left hanging by Littler forward of their deciding leg throughout their semi-final match on Evening 4 of the Premier League in Newcastle

“For Christmas I received stuff for my Xbox, a controller, present playing cards and received two tickets for the Manchester United stadium tour so I’ll go to that after the Worlds,” he mentioned again in December 2023.

You’re feeling, at the least for now, that Van Gerwen and the opposite prime darts gamers are having fun with the problem of Littler. It is added one other layer to the PDC Tour and Littler is doing his speaking on the dart board.

It will not be like Van Gerwen vs Taylor for instance, the place you may really feel a little bit of aggro between the gamers. As a substitute, Littler will solely make everybody else even higher and the standard is already at a really excessive stage.

What a spot darts is in proper now.

Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports activities on Thursday April 4 as Manchester is the following cease on the 17-week extravaganza right through to the Play-Offs on the O2 Enviornment in London on Thursday, Could 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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