Plenty of the world’s top players will be in Germany for four days of Players Championship action in the third tranche of the PDC’s innovative Super Series.
Former world champs Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld are the pick of the 128 entries who will be gathering in Niedernhausen to take part in the next four heats of the Pro Tour.
Their participation depends on passing Covid tests and a number of big names have decided to swerve the quartet of one-day competitions, among them Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton, Peter Wright and Joe Cullen, who between them have won five of the eight events played so far this year.
Schindler Flying Flag For Home Nation
With no quarantine issues to worry about, there are plenty of Germans in the field, and one or two are in very good form.
Gabriel Clemens, the new German No.1, is a player on the up and is carrying on in 2021 as he left off in 2020 with two semi-finals and a quarter-final under his belt already from the eight previous Super Series events which were held in Bolton in February and Milton Keynes in March.
Max Hopp reached the European Super League semi-finals earlier this week soon after reaching round five of the UK Open, while Florian Hempel made it to the Super League final.
Hempel lost that match to Martin Schindler, a player who had averaged over 100 in his quarter-final success over Niko Springer, and will be full of confidence having booked his place at this year’s World Championship courtesy of winning the title.
Premier League Stars Will Be A Threat
Half the Premier League field are set to line up, including former champion Van Gerwen, big-hitting Portuguese star Jose de Sousa, Rob Cross – who is hoping to find some form – and the two men who head the table after nine rounds, Dimitri van den Bergh and Nathan Aspinall.
Cross is struggling having been eliminated from the competition, but the other four are playing well and will clearly be massive threats.
Incredibly, Van Gerwen has yet to win a title in 2021, unlike his former World Cup partner Van Barneveld who won Players Championship 3 in Bolton in February. Barney suffered a health scare in the March Super Series but has been passed fit to play.
Lesser Lights Hoping To Shine
Punters will be looking at a host of other names to do well, especially floor experts like Damon Heta, Devon Petersen, Dave Chisnall, Michael Smith and Krzyzstof Ratajski, the Pole who looks absolutely made to win one of these.
Dirk van Duijvenbode goes to post topping the scoring averages from the first eight events and you cannot rule out someone like Mervyn King, the ageless Fenlander who continues to defy father time.