Michael van Gerwen is in supremely confident mood ahead of the Champions League and says it's highly unlikely anyone can beat him if he plays to his best.
The BBC-televised tournament is one of the very few MVG has never won in its two-year history, having lost to Phil Taylor in the 2016 final and being knocked out in the group stage last season.
But van Gerwen, who has won 16 events this year as well as the World Cup with Raymond van Barneveld, is as hungry than ever to add to his tally, especially now the 2019 World Championship is coming into sight.
The world number one, who is 10/11 favourite, told tournament sponsors Paddy Power: "I don't need to make statements about my game anymore. Statements are old fashioned; the other players here know what I can do. I've grown past that kind of stuff.
Scroll down for more from MVG, the full fixture schedule & tournament tables
Champions League of Darts odds
Prices below are boosted by Sky Bet
- Michael van Gerwen 10/11 from 8/11
- Gary Anderson 9/2 from 7/2
- Rob Cross 6/1 from 5/1
- Peter Wright 8/1 from 7/1
- Mensur Suljovic 12/1 from 10/1
- Dave Chisnall 33/1 from 28/1
- Daryl Gurney 40/1 from 33/1
- Simon Whitlock 66/1 from 50/1
"I haven’t won the Champions League before, and that really is an extra motivator for me. It makes you hungrier having not won a title previously. I'd like this title, it's on the BBC and that makes it a big one to win.
"Sure, I’m in a tough group, but Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney aren't playing the best at the minute. I need to make sure I beat them all and the same goes for Gary Anderson, it's that simple. I know if I play well, it's high unlikely that the rest can beat me."
MVG thrashed Chisnall 6-1 in a recent meeting on the European Tour and the Dutchman added: "Beating Dave (Chisnall) 10-1 would be nice for sure. I've played him a lot of times and I've had so many good results against him.
"It's very difficult for him to beat me and that's something I've got over him."
Despite winning 16 events in 2018, including the Masters and Premier League, van Gerwen failed to deliver at the UK Open and World Matchplay, so he's out to set the record straight.
"Now's the time for me to get back to winning majors on the way to the World Championships. It's not about my last results, I have to show the rest of the field again this week. I need to make sure I go into the games with confidence and a fighting spirit straight from the beginning.
"I demand 100% concentration from myself this weekend and I don't want to make any mistakes.
Winning is the most important thing for me. I love winning, I just need to make sure I'm going to do it.
I feel good weekend, so why not?"
Champions League of Darts tables & format
The four eight players will be split into two groups of four players, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.
Scroll down for daily match schedule
- Michael van Gerwen P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Gary Anderson P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Daryl Gurney P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Dave Chisnall P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Peter Wright P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Rob Cross P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Mensur Suljovic P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- Simon Whitlock P 0 W 0 L 0 LegDiff 0 Pts 0
- The players will play each other once, in best-of-19 legs play matches, with two points for a win. The two players who win their opening group games will play each other on Saturday evening, with the two losing players facing each other. The remaining games take place on Sunday afternoon.
- The top two in each group will go through to the semi-final. If players are equal on points then leg difference comes into play. If still level then it goes on head-to-head record. If three players are tied for Points and Leg Difference, then a nine‐dart shoot‐out will be played between the players on stage to determine placings.
- The group winners will play the runners-up of the other group over 21 legs, with the two semi-final winners then meeting with the trophy and a cheque of £100,000 on the line. That too will be played over 21 legs.
Champions League of Darts: Daily Schedule & Results
Saturday September 22
Group Stage Matches (Best of 19 legs)
Live on BBC 1 from 1315-1630 BST
- Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic (B)
- Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock (B)
- Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney (A)
- Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall (A)
Group Stage (Best of 19 legs)
Live on BBC 2 from 1845-2215 BST
- Four Matches
Saturday afternoon's winning players face each other, and the losing players face each other in each group.
Sunday September 25
Group Stage (Best of 19 legs)
Live on BBC 2 from 1315-1630 BST
- Four Matches
Knockout Stages (Best of 21 legs)
Live on BBC 2 from 1830-2200 BST
- Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B
- Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A
Final (best of 21 legs)
- Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2