World Series of Darts: North West trio take centre stage

The North West will have interest in three darts clashes tonight as the World Series begins in Amsterdam.

Eight encounters are on the card as each pairing contest 11 legs of darting drama.

And it will certainly not be “mission impossible” for Stockport-born Nathan Aspinall as he takes on Krzysztof Ratajski, who uses the walk-on theme of the same name.

2019 UK Open winner Aspinall is looking to strengthen his claims for qualifying for next year’s Premier League after two ranking title wins this season.

Michael Smith plays Gerwyn Price tonight, with a second round clash against Michael van Gerwen on offer for the winner (Credit: Sven Mandel, Wikimedia Commons)

St Helens’s Michael Smith then faces Gerwyn “The Iceman” Price in what should prove to be one of the matches of the night.

Price reached the final of the European Championships last weekend but lost 11-6 to world number two Rob Cross, in a game televised on ITV.

Finally, Dave Chisnall faces a tough test against Simon Whitlock.

Chisnall, also from St Helens, has had an impressive season and has climbed up to number 10 in the rankings, guaranteeing an automatic spot in the World Championships in December.

He took home the runners-up prize after being defeated five sets to two by van Gerwen in the Grand Prix finals in October, despite hitting 12 180s and averaging more than 93.

Raymond van Barneveld is playing one of his final tournaments before retirement (Credit: Chris Ibbotson, Flickr)

Chisnall takes on Cross, who is seeded and has therefore guaranteed himself a place in the quarter finals of this event, if he gets past Australia- born Whitlock.

The other seeds include van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld – the latter playing in one of his last tournaments before he calls time on a 32 year darting career after the World Championships.

The winner of the Smith/Price game will take on “Green Machine” van Gerwen, while Aspinall will face world number four Daryl Gurney if he can negate the Ratajski clash.