Raymond van Barneveld insists he has not yet thrown in the towel in the Premier League and is hopeful home advantage counts this week.
Raymond van Barneveld says he is confident he can survive in the Premier League ahead of the Rotterdam double-header.
The five-time world champion is playing in his final Premier League campaign before retiring after next year’s World Championship.
Many were sceptical about his inclusion in the Premier League, arguing that it was nothing more than sentiment as his recent performances did not warrant a place.
The critics may have been vindicated after the first six weeks, with Barney only managing to score two points through draws with Gerwyn Price and Mensur Suljovic .
However, there were glimpses of the old van Barneveld (200/1 Premier League Outright) at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday as he beat local contender Max Hopp 7-3 for his first win of the campaign, hitting a 170 checkout on the night as well.
He is now only one point behind last year’s World Championship finalist Michael Smith, with one player to be eliminated following the second night in Rotterdam.
On Wednesday, Van Barneveld plays Daryl Gurney (Van Barneveld 19/10, Gurney 21/20, draw 16/5 – Match Betting), who scored a very impressive 7-5 win over Michael van Gerwen in Berlin, before taking on the world number one himself in an all-Dutch matchup on Thursday.
Despite looking the most likely candidate for relegation, the 51-year-old still believes he can live to fight another day.
“You never give up – there is always belief,” said Van Barneveld. “To play for this amazing crowd in Rotterdam, always in orange, is hard for your opponents but you still have to play your A-game.
“I need two wins to maybe survive and even with two wins I’m not 100 percent sure yet. Hopefully I can manage these two wins.
“Anything is possible, as long as you play your best game. The weekend in Wigan (Players Championship final against Adrian Lewis) did me good to reach a final again.”
Odds subject to change.