Fallon Sherrock will continue her history-making exploits on Night Two of the 2020 Unibet Premier League as she becomes the first woman to play in the tournament, while Scottish World Cup winners Gary Anderson and Peter Wright will face off in Nottingham on Thursday.
Sherrock, who became a global sensation in December by becoming the first female player to win matches at a PDC World Championship, will take on Glen Durrant as the Premier League roadshow continues at Motorpoint Arena.
The second of nine Challengers to star in this year’s Premier League, Sherrock insists she is unfazed at the prospect of performing in front of 6,000 fans, many of whom have travelled to witness her highly-anticipated debut.
“It’s amazing that people are travelling to see me, it’s still all new to me so I’m really excited,” said Sherrock.
“At Alexandra Palace I tried to block everything out during my games so that will be what I do again, but I love taking in all the support at the end of matches.
“I don’t feel any pressure, I think all the pressure will be on Glen because he’s the Premier League player and he needs the points.
“I’m going to play my own game, not think about anything else and see how it goes. I can’t wait to go and play on another big stage.
“I haven’t had a lot of time to reflect. I’m taking little bits in but it’s been a bit overwhelming how much I’ve helped the sport in general. I’m really proud of what I’ve done.”
Meanwhile, Durrant enjoyed a perfect start to life in the Premier League line-up in Aberdeen last Thursday, defeating Michael Smith in an impressive display.
The Teessider missed just two darts at a double in a ruthless 7-3 defeat of 2018 Premier League runner-up Smith, and Durrant knows he will need to be just as clinical against Sherrock.
“It’s an exciting challenge playing against Fallon, it’s a game I’ve been very aware of since the fixtures came out,” Durrant admitted.
“I’m proud of Fallon, it’s amazing what she’s done for the sport, but I’ve got a job to do.
“I feel a lot better coming into the game knowing I’ve got two points on the board. If I’d taken a drubbing from Michael the pressure would’ve been on me even more.
“Obviously, the crowd will be right behind Fallon, it will be a new experience for me because I’ve never really had the crowd against me.
“But, you have to enjoy these experiences. Only 18 months ago I was playing in front of 27 people so to be playing in front of thousands every week is absolutely incredible.
“I’m in the elite now and I’ve never, ever been in the elite so I’m keeping my expectations realistic. I just want to get past Judgement Night.”
Before Durrant and Sherrock’s encounter, Scotland’s top two Anderson and Wright will go head-to-head in a battle between two in-form super-powers of the sport.
Following a frustrating 2019 blighted by injury, Anderson has enjoyed a much-improved start to 2020, with victory over Daryl Gurney in Aberdeen backed up by winning his first PDC ranking title since August 2018 on Saturday.
“It’s been a while since I won something, but I’ve got the hunger back,” the two-time World Champion revealed.
“I want to get back to how I was throwing before [the injury], I don’t mind if I win or lose, but as long as I throw them how I used to then I’ll be alright.
“I still have work to do, but it’s not a bad start.”
Wright, meanwhile, enjoyed the perfect start to life as World Champion by winning The Masters earlier this month.
However, the world number two suffered his first defeat of 2020 in Aberdeen at the hands of Michael van Gerwen as the Dutchman went some way to avenging his World Championship final defeat.
“Obviously, losing to Michael was a disappointment but I don’t think I played too badly,” said Wright.
“That game is gone now, so as soon as it was finished I was looking ahead to playing Gary.
“Gary is a player I have huge respect for, I loved winning the World Cup with him last year so it should be a great game if we both play like we can.”
Testament to his stunning form, Wright played his part in setting a new PDC record combined average in his clash with Nathan Aspinall at Players Championship Two on Sunday.
Aspinall, who averaged 117.5 in that match, went on to claim his fourth senior PDC title three days after getting his debut Premier League campaign off to a winning start against John Henderson.
The world number eight is brimming with confidence ahead of his meeting with last year’s runner-up Rob Cross as he seeks back-to-back wins.
“I’m still on cloud nine from the Premier League invite, I’m living the dream,” said Aspinall, who made his Premier League debut in Nottingham as a ‘Contender’ almost 12 months ago.
“I’ve been all smiles in the practice room since I got the invite, but a few of the other players joked that I might not be smiling after five or six weeks when fatigue sets in.
“I must admit being in the Premier League is something I’ve had my eye on for quite some time, so to get the call was a great moment for me.
“I’m determined to make this most of this opportunity. I didn’t perform as I wanted to in Aberdeen. I’m a bit relieved that game is out of the way and now I want to show what I can do more consistently.
“I’m still new to this game but my level is going up and up while I’m learning.”
Night Two will also see world number one Van Gerwen take on Daryl Gurney, while Welsh number one Gerwyn Price faces Smith.
The first nine nights of action will see a different Challenger in action, culminating in Judgement Night in Rotterdam on March 26 where the ninth-placed regular player will be eliminated.
Following Judgement Night, the remaining eight players meet once more in the remaining seven league nights in Belfast, Sheffield, Manchester, Berlin, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds.
The top four players then progress to face off for the title, and a £250,000 top prize, in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 21.
Night Two will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.
2020 Unibet Premier League
Thursday February 13
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Glen Durrant v Fallon Sherrock
Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen
Sixth place £60,000
Seventh place £55,000
Eighth place £50,000
Ninth place £35,000
League winner bonus £25,000