THE final two places in the Betway Premier League Play-Offs could be confirmed on Thursday, with Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson aiming to end Phil Taylor's amazing record in the tournament.
Six-time Premier League champion Taylor has never missed out on the Play-Offs since the event was introduced in 2005, but sits three points adrift of the top four with two league nights remaining.
Heading to Newcastle, league leader Michael van Gerwen and the impressive Dave Chisnall have already secured their semi-final places, with Newcastle's Week 14 to be followed by the final league night in Brighton next Thursday.
Raymond van Barneveld's double of wins in Birmingham last week took him into the top four, level on 16 points with Anderson - with the pair crucially three points ahead of fifth-placed Taylor and four clear of Adrian Lewis.
That leaves Taylor and Lewis both needing to win their final two games, and hope for van Barneveld and Anderson to lose their matches, if they are to snatch Play-Off places.
Taylor takes on Anderson in Newcastle in a must-win clash as he bids to preserve his amazing record of having competed in the Play-Offs in every one of the previous ten seasons since the Premier League was introduced in 2005.
"I'll be giving it everything," said Taylor. "If I can get the win then that's great and I'll move on to the last game, but if I miss out then it's not the be-all and end-all.
"I've been playing well but it's the closest season we've ever had and I've come up against some fantastic performances as well as thrown away some points in games I should have won.
"I'm looking forward to playing Gary because they're always great matches, and I've been practising really well this week."
The rematch of January's World Championship final also sees Anderson looking to complete a Premier League double over Taylor, but he warned: "I know what I'm up against playing Phil and I've got to be at the top of my game.
"Even though he's not got the results recently he's still been playing really well, and the standard's so high now that the line between winning and losing is so fine.
"I know that it's still in my hands for the Play-Offs but I can't get too far ahead of myself and I can only focus on Phil."
Adrian Lewis' feint Play-Off hopes hinge on his result against Michael van Gerwen, but the league leader is determined to show no mercy in his own bid to secure that he tops the final table for a third successive season.
"Two years ago I won the league with 22 points and last year with 24 points, and it would be amazing to be top again for the third time," said van Gerwen. "I'm already on 22 points and that shows how the standard has been raised.
"I know I'm playing well but I can't afford any mistakes, also for my own confidence. I know that I'm through to the semi-finals but you want to win all the time and I have to take it game by game.
"Averages are important but not as important as getting the results and I've got to make sure that I prepare properly and produce the darts at the right moments to get the two points."
Van Barneveld, meanwhile, has moved into the top four for the first time this season after winning his last five matches, and takes on 2009 Premier League champion James Wade in Newcastle.
"I'm not in the semi-finals yet and I've got to focus on playing James this week," said van Barneveld. "There are no easy matches and I'm still playing finals every week.
"Anything can still go wrong if I don't show up, but the form is there, the belief is there and I feel comfortable.
"Before Judgement Night I was thinking about not getting eliminated and after four more weeks I'm third - it's been an amazing time and I'm so happy."
Wade cannot qualify now for the Play-Offs following his draw with Stephen Bunting last week, but the left-hander bounced back by reaching two finals in Players Championship events over the weekend in Coventry.
"I haven't played well enough but I've got two games left and I need to prove a point to myself," said Wade.
"I'm going to put the work in and I want to play darts like I can, because I've not been playing great darts in recent weeks, and that's why I'm where I am in the table.
"I believe in my heart of hearts that I'm better than that. I think this year it's been the strongest field and perhaps it's probably been one of my weakest performances, but I'm honoured to be a part of this Premier League."
Bunting is also playing only for pride as he takes on St Helens rival Dave Chisnall at the Metro Radio Arena as he bids to end his debut season on a high.
"Dave's a great friend but that goes out of the window when we go up on that stage - we'll want to beat each other and we're looking for the two points," said Bunting.
"I've beaten him in our last few games so hopefully I can continue that run and get the win. I want to keep competing at the top level for a lot of years so it's important for me to try and finish the season in the best way I can.
"I've started to enjoy it more and get into it in the last few weeks and the crowds have been great, and it's a fantastic tournament with the best players in the world."
Chisnall sits second and has already secured his Play-Off place going into the final two league nights, but is determined to continue his impressive form.
"It's important because I've got to keep playing the darts I'm playing - I don't want to slack off because I'm through to the Play-Offs, I want to get a winning streak going," he said.
"It's going to be another tough game and I'll have to come prepared for it, and I'll be ready."
Betway Premier League - Play-Offs Permutations
Michael van Gerwen - has qualified for Play-Offs
Dave Chisnall - has qualified for Play-Offs
Raymond van Barneveld - has 16pts, qualifies with win agaxinst Wade or if Taylor and Lewis do not win
Gary Anderson - has 16pts, qualifies with win/draw against Taylor
Phil Taylor - has to defeat Anderson & Wade and hope van Barneveld or Anderson lose both remaining games
Adrian Lewis - has to defeat van Gerwen & Anderson and hope van Barneveld/Anderson and Taylor lose both remaining games
Stephen Bunting - cannot qualify for Play-Offs
James Wade - cannot qualify for Play-Offs
Betway Premier League
Night 14, Thursday May 7
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 08444 93 6666 or www.eventim.co.uk
Evens Dave Chisnall
7/4 Stephen Bunting
3/1 Adrian Lewis
4/7 Michael van Gerwen
6/4 James Wade
6/5 Raymond van Barneveld
11/8 Phil Taylor
11/8 Gary Anderson
OUTRIGHT ODDS (before Week 14)
10/11 Michael van Gerwen
4/1 Gary Anderson
6/1 Dave Chisnall
7/1 Raymond van Barneveld
9/1 Phil Taylor
50/1 Adrian Lewis
For other bets and special offers, visitwww.betway.com. Odds above correct at time of writing and may be subject to change.