Michael van Gerwen won’t need much stoking up ahead of his next endeavour in Premier League darts considering the form he is in, but this week’s opponent will certainly add an edge to the match.
As the competition heads to Exeter, MVG will be preparing to take on a man that described him as “a big baby” after a clash 12 months ago.
It all started when the colourful Peter Wright went toe-to-toe with the Dutchman in the tournament two years ago.
With the scores at two legs apiece, the Scot found himself needing 161 to go 3-2 up. Having bagged the treble 20, and then treble 17, all that stood between Wright and the leg was the bull.
Rather than going straight for it, ‘Snakebite’ opted to coerce the crowd into turning up the volume, before going on to miss.
That seemed to rile up Van Gerwen as he went about taking out the leg.
The cold handshake that followed the match was a sign of things to come in the future.
A year later the pair met in this week’s venue of the Westpoint Arena in the same competition and a similar story was to follow.
Playing to the crowd, Wright once again stepped away from the board to goad the crowd, and to some extent his opponent.
A war of words followed with MVG calling Wright “unprofessional”, while Van Gerwen was told to “grow up”.
The Scottish thrower has vowed that he will not stop his shenanigans at the oche, but he might not get so much of a chance to land a double with Van Gerwen in sublime form.
The 2014 World Champion delighted the crowd in Aberdeen last week when racking up a record three-dart average of 123.40 against Michael Smith to take his record to three from four in the tournament.
He comes into this match as a 1/3 favourite and it’s easy to see why.
Of his last 52 competitive matches, ‘Mighty Mike’ has won a whopping 49 times, with Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade the only men to have got one over on him since the start of last November.
Expect sparks in the West Country again, as these Wright bids to hold his own against an red-hot MVG in what should be a feisty encounter.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.