Lewis Targets Barney Scalp

ADRIAN LEWIS is looking to get off to a flier on his Holsten Premier League Darts debut against Raymond van Barneveld - and is targeting revenge against the Dutchman.

The 22-year-old was the final player named for the tournament recently, following his rise to fifth in the world.

That has been aided by some brilliant displays on the PDC circuit, including a recent run to the final of the Stan James Players Championship in Gibraltar.

He lost 3-1 to van Barneveld in that match, but gets a swift chance to avenge that when he takes on the World Champion at the Plymouth Pavilions on Thursday night.

"Raymond is playing absolutely brilliantly at the moment," said Lewis.

"I can't fault him for what he's done, winning three straight tournaments including the World Championship.

"I'm really looking forward to it and think I can cause an upset there. It would be a bit of revenge for his win over me in Gibraltar!"

Lewis has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom in the past two years, but says he will relish the chance to play every week in front of thousands of fans.

"I love it," he added. "I thrive on big events and try to excite people.

"If I can do that, make people enjoy themselves and also win, then it's great.

"At the end of the day, the experience of being on TV every week will boost my game no end.

"I know that, and maybe it will give me a boost in other tournaments, maybe another 30 percent."

Lewis is being tipped as a future World Champion by many pundits, and Sky Sports commentator Sid Waddell believes he will be a big hit in the Premier League.

"I am tipping Adrian Lewis to do some great things in this tournament," said Waddell.

"I think he will become World Champion in the next five years, he is maturing very rapidly.

"He's also proven himself to be an incredible short course player, as he showed when he reached the final of the World Series of Darts last year and demolished Priestley 11-1 in the semis.

"This format could suit him as he gets out of the blocks brilliantly."

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Holsten Premier League Darts
Night One, Plymouth Pavilions
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
Dennis Priestley v Terry Jenkins
Peter Manley v Colin Lloyd
Phil Taylor v Roland Scholten