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Premier League of Darts 2022: Which players will take part? Dates and venues confirmed

Darts fans are speculating about the potential line-up for this year’s PDC Premier League as Michael Smith and Peter Wright get set to go head-to-head in the final of the World Championships.

<p>Gary Anderson of Scotland and Peter Wright of Scotland congratulate each other after their Semi-Finals Match during Day Fifteen of The William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on January 02, 2022</p>

Gary Anderson of Scotland and Peter Wright of Scotland congratulate each other after their Semi-Finals Match during Day Fifteen of The William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on January 02, 2022

Ahead of tonight’s PDC World Darts Championship final, darts fans already have a clear picture of who will be lining up at the 2022 Premier League.

The annual competition sees the very best players in the world tour the UK and Europe over several weeks, facing each other in a league style format which is unique to the competition.

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The World Championships may be the showpiece event of the Professional Darts Corporation but the Premier League is the jewel in the crown and the biggest money spinner.

Here is everything we know so far about the 2022 edition of the competition including dates and venues:

Who will take part in the 2022 Premier League of Darts and how are they chosen?

Jonny Clayton of Wales poses with the trophy after winning his Final match against Jose de Sousa of Portugal during Night 17 of the Unibet Premier League Darts at Marshall Arena on May 28, 2021 in Milton Keynes, England.

The top four players in the world automatically qualify for the Premier League which means we will definitely see Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen at the event.

Michael Smith will also automatically qualify if he wins tonight’s World Championship final but a runner-up spot would only be enough to see him hit fifth in the Order of Merit, meaning James Wade would automatically qualify.

The remaining six players are chosen by the PDC and are called “wild cards”, these often go to the winners of the World Darts Championship, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts if they have not already qualified.

After reaching the World Championship finals this year it is unlikely that Michael Smith would not be selected even if he does not lift the Sid Waddell trophy.

If he did win and moved above James Wade in the rankings it also seems likely that Wade would be selected as the world number five and 2021 UK Open winner.

Jonny Clayton will also be there as he is the defending Premier League champion and the current World Grand Prix champion.

That leaves four spaces and World Championship semi-finalist and current world number six Gary Anderson also seems like a likely choice for the 2022 tour.

However, the last three spots are entirely up for grabs.

Will the ‘Challengers’ return for the 2022 Premier League of Darts?

The PDC reduced the Premier League from ten participants to nine in 2020 and introduced “challengers” to take on the player who would otherwise not be in action on each respective night.

These “challengers” were usually players of immense popularity such as Fallon Sherrock or high ranking players who were local to each venue such as John Henderson in Aberdeen or William O’Connor in Dublin.

The 2021 edition of the tournament did not see the return of the challengers but the PDC may look to bring them back this year after proving so popular.

If they did bring them back then there would be no shortage of top players to choose from with Sherrock very likely to make a return.

2022 Premier League of Darts: Dates & Venues

The 2022 Premier League of Darts will take place across 17 nights from February 3 till May 26.

The events take place on Thursday nights and this year they will being in Cardiff and conclude with the play-offs in Newcastle while touring the UK and Europe in between.

Here are the full dates and venues list for the 2022 Premier League of Darts:

  • Night 1 - Thursday February 3 - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  • Night 2 - Thursday February 10 - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
  • Night 3 - Thursday February 17 - SSE Arena, Belfast
  • Night 4 - Thursday February 24 - Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
  • Night 5 - Thursday March 3 - Westpoint Exeter
  • Night 6 - Thursday March 10 - The Brighton Centre
  • Night 7 - Thursday March 17 - Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
  • Night 8 - Thursday March 24 - Rotterdam Ahoy
  • Night 9 - Thursday March 31 - Utilita Arena Birmingham
  • Night 10 - Thursday April 7 - First Direct Arena, Leeds
  • Night 11 - Thursday April 14 - AO Arena, Manchester
  • Night 12 - Thursday April 21 - P&J Live, Aberdeen
  • Night 13 - Thursday April 28 - 3Arena, Dublin
  • Night 14 - Thursday May 5 - SSE Hydro, Glasgow
  • Night 15 - Thursday May 12 - FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
  • Night 16 - Thursday May 19 - The O2, London
  • Play-Offs - Thursday May 26 - Utilita Arena Newcastle

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