JERMAINE WATTIMENA believes it could be a good opportunity to gun down Gerwyn Price without a crowd.
The Dutch World Cup star takes on The Iceman as a Contender in a fascinating Unibet Premier League battle on Thursday night.
Wattimena is known as the Machine Gun because of his fast throw, and hopes he has the bullets to beat the double Grand Slam champ.
“Maybe it is an opportunity. Gerwyn needs the crowd.
But I think he’ll learn from his experience at the Matchplay and he won’t want to do that again.
“He’s a really good player, he’s won major titles but I’ll give it my all to beat him. Hopefully though it’s a good opportunity to beat him without a crowd.
“I’m happy to come back to England for the Premier League, I want to take this chance.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed not to be playing in Rotterdam where I was originally going to play. In front of 11,000 fans would have been amazing.
“It would have been more atmosphere, more beautiful, that’s the stage where you want to play with the fans behind you.
Hopefully I will get another chance to play in Rotterdam.”
Wattimena has sampled the stage atmosphere without fans, losing out in his opening Matchplay clash to Krzysztof Ratajski last month.
But he’s quick to acknowledge that a title is massively important for him to become a threat at the elite level of the sport.
He added: “I think it’s very important for me to get a championship title. You have to work hard, they are all good players on the tour.
“You can beat everyone but you have to work hard, hard, hard. I will try everything for that to win a big title. In the beginning a Players Championship or European title.
“It was hard work after the lockdown because of four months without any darts.
“Krzysztof Ratajski is a good player so it was tough. The atmosphere with the crowd was a lot better for me.
“I think not playing as much affects all the players, not just me. You want to play on the high level every week.”
Pictures: Lawrence Lustig