The line-up for the 2023 Premier League Darts has been confirmed and eight of the world's top players will battle it out for the prestigious title.
Last year's champion Michael van Gerwen, a six-time Premier League winner, is 9/4 to retain his crown but he faces fierce competition from a top-class field including world number one Michael Smith, who beat him 7-4 in the final of January's PDC World Championship and is 10/3 for Premier League glory.
|What||Premier League Darts 2023|
|Where||Night 1 is at the SSE Arena, Belfast and the Play-Offs are at The O2, London|
|When||Thursday 2nd February to Thursday 25th May|
|How to watch||Live on Sky Sports|
|Odds||Michael van Gerwen 9/4, Michael Smith 10/3, Gerwyn Price 4/1, Peter Wright 5/1, Jonny Clayton 9/1, Nathan Aspinall 14/1, Dimitri van den Bergh 14/1, Chris Dobey 22/1|
The line-up for the 2023 Premier League was confirmed on Monday with Van Gerwen and Smith joined by Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright, Jonny Clayton, Nathan Aspinall, Dimitri van den Bergh and Chris Dobey.
Van Gerwen has a sensational record in the competition, claiming his first title in 2013 (when he beat Phil Taylor in the final) and going on to lift the trophy in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.
He beat Joe Cullen 11-10 in the final last year while in 2021 Clayton saw off Jose de Sousa in the showpiece event and the previous year Aspinall had finished as runner-up to his fellow Premier League debutant Glen Durrant.
With matches taking place on 17 Thursday nights between February and the finals at The O2 in London in May, there should be plenty of thrills and spills in this season's Premier League and some big names will be hoping to deny Van Gerwen a seventh title.
'Snakebite' Wright, the 2022 world champion, is 5/1 to triumph when he lines up for his 10th consecutive Premier League season although his best result came in 2017 when he lost 11-10 to the Dutch master in the final.
Welsh ace Price also has an underwhelming record in this tournament but he enjoyed an extraordinary evening in Belfast last year, hitting two nine-dart finishes in his victories over Van Gerwen and James Wade on Night Three. It's 4/6 that there is a nine-darter in this season's Premier League.
The 2023 Premier League schedule includes trips to Dublin, Glasgow, Berlin and Rotterdam and newly-crowned world champion Michael Smith will be one of the star attractions for darts fans across Europe.
The format of the competition sees quarter-finals, semi-finals and a best-of-11 legs final held on each of the 16 league nights before the top four players in the table advance to the Play-Offs in London.
Smith, beaten by Wright in the 2022 PDC World Championship final, made the perfect start to the new year with his victory over Van Gerwen in the Alexandra Palace extravaganza and he will be hoping to kick on in the Premier League.
The St Helens man beat Stephen Bunting in the quarter-finals and Gabriel Clemens in the semis at Ally Pally before a stirring victory over Van Gerwen which took him to the top of the PDC Order of Merit for the first time and he is 7/5 to reach the Premier League final in May.
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Dobey appeared as a Challenger during the 2019 and 2020 Premier League campaigns but he has earned a full-time spot in this year's line-up and will be full of confidence after Sunday's surprise victory at the Masters.
Dobey claimed his first televised title, beating Rob Cross in the final, and he is no doubt looking forward to Night Eight of the Premier League when he will be playing in front of a home crowd at Newcastle's Utilita Arena.
He is 22/1 to win the title and 15/2 to reach the final but, as Durrant and Aspinall showed in 2021, players can overcome a lack of Premier League experience.
Dobey is 11/10 to beat 4/6 shot Van den Bergh in the Tournament Match-ups market. The Belgian reached the World Championship semi-finals in January but was beaten 6-0 by a ruthless Van Gerwen.