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Inaugural Champions League of Darts kicks off with PDC world’s top 8 in action

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | September 21, 2016

2016 Champions League of Darts

  • Saturday, September 24th to Sunday, 25th
  • First session starts: 13:30 BST
  • Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  • Live on the BBC

Don’t miss this nationwide televised event!

The inaugural Champions League of Darts, not to be confused with the now-defunct Champions League Darts that ran from 2008-2013, is all set for its launch on Saturday, September 24th.

Eight of the world’s top players have qualified for the tournament in Cardiff, and for the first time ever a PDC event will be available for viewers across the nation with the BBC broadcasting the whole competition live.

Rivals Van Gerwen and Taylor will play each other at least once this Champions League of Darts.

Rivals Van Gerwen and Taylor will play each other at least once this Champions League of Darts.

The likes of Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson (5/1 to claim the title with Coral) and Adrian Lewis have all qualified, but there are notable absentees such as Raymond van Barneveld, Dave Chisnall and Jelle Klaasen, who have slipped down the rankings.

This competition features a completely different format than usual majors, with the eight stars being split up into two round-robin groups. The top two then progress to the semis to fight for the final and £100k first place prize.

Van Gerwen backed for another major win

Mighty Mike is of course the odds-on favourite once again at 4/6 to add yet another major title to his rapidly growing trophy cabinet after claiming the World Matchplay, Premier League, Coral UK Open and The Masters all this year too.

Arch rival Taylor, who won four of the six Champions League Darts events and beat MvG in the last final in 2013, is next on the list at 9/2 as he aims to win his first major televised trophy since 2014.

Van Gerwen odds feature among Coral's Champions League of Darts preview.

Van Gerwen odds feature among Coral’s Champions League of Darts preview.

Both The Power (5/2 to top the pool) and Van Gerwen (4/7) have actually been placed in the same Group A, along with Scottish duo Peter Wright (6/1) and Robert Thornton (25/1).

In Group B, at least one Englishman is guaranteed to reach the semis, as Lewis (5/2), James Wade (7/2) and Michael Smith (13/2) all join World Championship and World Matchplay title holder Anderson (11/10).

Anderson-Smith kick off new event

The first round of matches see The Flying Scotsman (1/4 for victory) and Bully Boy (3/1) kick off the competition, before Jackpot’s (4/6) battle with The Machine (6/5). Then, Group A’s players take to the oche, with Taylor (4/11) taking on Snakebite (21/10) and Van Gerwen (1/14) tussling with The Thorn (15/2).

Out of the above fixtures, Wade, who won the former Champions League Darts tournament in 2010, looks decent value to topple Lewis especially as he has a 26-19 winning record over his fellow Englishman.

Following the first round of fixtures, the winners will then face each other on the same day before returning to the oche on Sunday and battling out their final group game.

World champions Anderson looks a tasty price to add another trophy to his collection.

World champions Anderson looks a tasty price to add another trophy to his collection.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn was in typical positive mood ahead of the event, and said: “The BBC has a long history of broadcasting darts but this will be the start of an exciting new era.

“The Champions League of Darts will bring the very best players in world darts – the top eight from the PDC Order of Merit – to BBC screens for an exciting, quick-fire tournament.

“Both live crowds and TV audiences have continued to soar for PDC tournaments in the last year, and it’s a great reflection for us that the BBC were keen to add the Champions League of Darts to their sporting portfolio.”

Group A

Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor
Peter Wright
Robert Thornton

Group B

Gary Anderson
Adrian Lewis
James Wade
Michael Smith

All group games are best of 19 legs.

Schedule

Saturday, September 24th

Afternoon Session, live on BBC1 (13:30 BST)

Adrian Lewis v James Wade (B)
Gary Anderson v Michael Smith (B)
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright (A)
Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton (A)

Evening Session, live on BBC2 (18:30 BST)

Group A
Afternoon session winners play each other
Afternoon session losers play each other

Group B
Afternoon session winners play each other
Afternoon session losers play each other

Sunday, September 25th

Afternoon Session, live on BBC2 (14:00 BST)

Group A
Final round of fixtures

Group B
Final round of fixtures

Evening Session, live on BBC2 (18:30 BST)

Semi-finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs

Related

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