RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD is looking to complete a Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts double over table-topper James Wade when the tournament visits Belfast on Thursday.

The Dutchman got his campaign back on track last week with a classy 8-4 defeat of Adrian Lewis – ending a run of three defeats in four matches.

It moved him onto 14 points in the league table – meaning he needs just one point from his remaining two matches to mathematically ensure his play-off place, although he would realistically need two heavy defeats to come under threat from Wayne Mardle, Peter Manley or Adrian Lewis.

“Last week was a big confidence boost for me,” admitted van Barneveld.

“Things hadn’t been going too well but I’ve got the fight back. I’ve had to dig deep within myself and put the hard work in on the practice board.

“I’ve started believing in myself again and I’m looking forward to the last two weeks.”

Van Barneveld edged out Wade 8-6 in week five at Bournemouth, one of just two defeats the 25-year-old has suffered in his debut Premier League campaign.

“It’s been a great year so far and I’ve really enjoyed every week,” said Wade. “I’m delighted to be top of the table and hopefully I can finish with two more wins and take first place going into the play-offs.

“Raymond might be coming back into form at the right time, and we all know how much quality he’s got. He’s world-class and deserves his place as world number one at the moment.”

Mardle currently occupies the fourth play-off spot on 11 points, just one ahead of Manley and Lewis – who meet in the opening game at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

“I’m not out of it yet and there’s a lot resting on this game,” said Manley, who lost 8-6 to James Wade a week ago.

“I gave James too many chances and you can’t afford to do that against someone of his quality, and it will be the same against Adrian on Thursday.”

Jenkins sits three points adrift of fourth place Mardle after drawing with Mardle last week.

“I’ve got to win both matches now – and it still might not be enough,” said Jenkins. “Last week was a huge match for both me and Wayne and maybe we felt the pressure, but it’s do-or-die now.

“John can’t qualify but I know he wants to finish with two wins so I’ll have to play well but I’m confident going into the match and happy with how I’ve prepared.”

The night is the PDC’s first visit for a televised event to Northern Ireland, with over 5,000 tickets snapped up by fans flocking to the Odyssey Arena.

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts
Night 13, Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Peter Manley v Adrian Lewis
Wayne Mardle v Phil Taylor
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Terry Jenkins v John Part
Live on Sky Sports 2 from 7.30pm

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