JELLE KLAASEN is hoping to upset Phil Taylor when the pair clash on the second night of the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts this Thursday.

Klaasen made an impressive debut in the Premier League at Liverpool last week, drawing with Terry Jenkins in a high-quality encounter.

The young Dutchman faces Taylor as the Premier League makes it’s Edinburgh debut at the Royal Highland Centre on Thursday, and is aiming to end the World Champion’s current unbeaten run, which moved to 24 games with a win over Raymond van Barneveld last Thursday.

Klaasen enjoyed a win over Taylor in their first ever meeting, a 7-6 victory at the 2006 International Darts League.

However, Taylor has won all every clash since, most recently with a 6-1 triumph in a Players Championship in Gibraltar last month.

“I’ve nothing to lose,” said Klaasen. “If I win I’ll be a hero, and if I lose then everybody expects that.

“I’m looking forward to playing him – the first time we played was in Holland and I beat him, but after that he’s beaten me twice.

“But this is a different day and anything’s possible.”

World Championship quarter-finalist Klaasen – a former Lakeside Champion – was handed a Wildcard place in the Premier League last month but showed his quality in week one in Liverpool, averaging over 97 in his draw with Jenkins.

“The main thing was not to lose against Terry, and I didn’t,” added the 25-year-old. “I missed a few doubles but I’m very happy with a 97 average.

“At times I felt really good but not all the time and I’ll have to improve it to keep winning.”

Klaasen’s fellow newcomer Mervyn King took an 8-1 win against Wayne Mardle in the opening week and Taylor – the only player to have appeared in all five years of the tournament – admits he was impressed by the duo.

“I like Jelle, he deserves to be in the Premier League and is showing that,” said Taylor.

“I thought he played very well last week. Mervyn King did as well, and as the two newcomers they were superb.

“Jelle’s an exciting player and when he gets going he’s very hard to stop, but I’m looking forward to the game.

“I’m happy with my form and playing well and hopefully I can make it two wins out of two in Edinburgh.”

King hit two 11-dart legs in a superb 8-1 win over Wayne Mardle in Liverpool, and he takes on world number two James Wade as he seeks to remain unbeaten.

“I was pleased with how I played last week,” said King.

“I’m told I was averaging around 107 for most of the match, although it dipped a little towards the end, but if someone’s doing that to you then you’re going to have to do something special to stop them.”

The night begins with the clash of two former World Champions, John Part and Raymond van Barneveld.

Part drew with Wade in Liverpool, while a 161 finish from van Barneveld was the high point of his 8-3 loss to Taylor.

Mardle looks to bounce back to winning ways when he takes on Jenkins in the second game, while Taylor and Klaasen clash in match three.

Almost 4,000 fans will pack the Highland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre for the Premier League’s first visit to Edinburgh – with the venue joining sold-out nights at Glasgow and Aberdeen this year.

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Week Two
February 12 – Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh
John Part v Raymond van Barneveld
Wayne Mardle v Terry Jenkins
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
James Wade v Mervyn King

Coverage is live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD1 from 7pm.

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