2021 PDC Premier League Darts News - Challengers scrapped as start is pushed back to Easter
- We bring you the player line-up for the 2021 PDC Premier League
- Only nine of the ten players have been confirmed so far
- The "Challengers" format of recent seasons will not happen in 2021
- The start date of the tournament has also been pushed back to the spring, in order for fans to attend events
Glen Durrant celebrating his win in the 2020 Premier League. (Getty)
Nine of the ten players who will compete in the 2021 PDC Premier League Darts were confirmed on Sunday, which has been penciled in to start around Easter.
In recent seasons, the PDC have introduced "Challengers" to fill the tenth and final spot. This iniciative has seen players like Fallon Sherrock, Luke Humphries and John Henderson invited to compete, when the Premier League bandwaggon rolled into their home towns.
However, speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, PDC chief executive Matt Porter announced that there will be no Challengers in this year's Premier League, and a final player will be invited closer to the start of the event.
"This year, we'll be reverting back to ten players who'll be playing each week." Porter told Sky Sports.
"We're going to keep on spot open, in case anybody comes to the fore throughout the spring period."
2021 Premier League Darts Odds
|Michael van Gerwen||9/4|
|Dimitri van den Bergh||12/1|
|Jose de Sousa||20/1|
*Odds taken on 6/1/21*
The top-four ranked players on the PDC Order of Merit, Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross and reigning World Champion, Gerwyn Price automatically received a Premier League invite.
Defending Premier League Champion, Glen Durrant will return to defend his crown. As will Nathan Aspinall, who lost to Durrant in the final last year.
Following his run to the World Championship final, Gary Anderson will return to the Premier League. He will be joined by two Major winners in Dimitri van den Bergh and Jose de Sousa, who will make their Premier League debuts.
The delay to the start of the event will give the likes of Dave Chisnall, Michael Smith and James Wade the chance to impress and earn that tenth and final invite. When asked for a specific date that the 2021 Premier League is likely to commence, Porter couldn't come up with a definitive answer.
"In view of the current regulation, and the fact that we feel that Premier League Darts is an event which deserves a full arena, we'll be looking to delay the start until probably around Easter time, so we can hopefully start to get crowds back into the arenas." Porter continued.
"We're not just in the four Nationals of the UK, but the Republic of Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands as well. Seven different jurisdictions, seven different sets of regulations, so by buying ourselves a couple of extra months, we'll be looking to get fans back through the doors."
Michael van Gerwen is the 9/4 favourite to win the 2021 Premier League. World Champion, Gerwyn Price sits second in the betting, ahead of Peter Wright and Simitri van den Bergh. Former World Champion, Rob Cross endured a dip in form during the second half of 2020, and he's the 33/1 outsider in the Premier League betting.
Michael van Gerwen2021 PDC Premier League Darts FavouriteGET 9/4 HERE
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