World Grand Prix 2017: Michael van Gerwen to face John Henderson in Dublin
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 18/09/17 2:33pm
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will kick off the Grand Prix against John Henderson, while home favourite Daryl Gurney faces fourth seed Adrian Lewis.
Van Gerwen, beaten in the group stages of this weekend's Champions League of Darts, is aiming for a fourth title in Dublin when the action gets underway on Sky Sports Arena from Sunday October 1.
The Dutchman enjoys the unique double to start and double out format having reached four finals in the last five years and beat Gary Anderson 5-2 in last year's final, clocking up a average in excess of 100 in the process.
Henderson should not prove too tricky an opponent for MVG who has already won the Premier League to go with his second world title claimed in January, has endured mixed results in the majors recently.
Suljovic wins Champions League crown
A brilliant title for the Austrian who beats Gary Anderson in the final in Cardiff
He lost to Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld on his way to a group stage exit in Cardiff while The Power also ended his hopes of retaining the Matchplay title with a quarter-final victory in Blackpool.
The 11-time champion Taylor will not be in Dublin this year, opting against the tournament in what is his final year on the circuit, but the threat to MVG will come from the usual array of tungsten titans.
MVG could face a quarter-final meeting with two-time runner-up and last year's semi-finalist Van Barneveld, although the five-time champion of the world has a tough test against Kyle Anderson in the first round.
If the seedings are followed then fourth seed Lewis is Van Gerwen's likely semi-final opponent but he will have to overcome the Citywest Hotel crowd and Gurney who is showing the sort of form that makes him a lively outsider in a tournament that often throws up a surprise finalist.
Gurney reached the last four of both the Matchplay and the UK Open after a best-ever run to the last eight of the World Championship and looks primed for a breakthrough a first major final.
Anderson, last year's runner-up, is the second seed and heads the bottom half of the draw, he will begin against Richard North but Champions League of Darts winner and sixth seed Mensur Suljovic will be a considerable threat.
The Austrian claimed the biggest title of his career with victory over Anderson in Sunday's final in Cardiff and he will open up against Ian White before a second round meeting with James Wade or Steve West.
Also in the bottom half Peter Wright, winner of the UK Open this year is seeded third and will open up against former BDO champion Stephen Bunting.
2017 World Grand Prix Draw
Michael van Gerwen (1) v John Henderson
Alan Norris v Justin Pipe
Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Kyle Anderson
Steve Beaton v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall (5) v Jelle Klaasen
Robert Thornton v Kim Huybrechts
Adrian Lewis (4) v Daryl Gurney
Joe Cullen v Darren Webster
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Gary Anderson (2) v Richard North
Simon Whitlock v Christian Kist
Michael Smith (7) v Gerwyn Price
Benito van de Pas v Cristo Reyes
Mensur Suljovic (6) v Ian White
Steve West v James Wade
Peter Wright (3) v Stephen Bunting
Mervyn King v Ronny Huybrechts
The biggest names in darts will return to Dublin's Citywest Hotel from October 1-7 for the 2017 World Grand Prix and you will be able to watch all the action starting on Saturday October 1 on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm
Who will win the World Grand Prix at Dublin's Citywest Hotel this year? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @SkySportsDarts or by using the comments box below - sign in with Facebook. Follow us on Twitter & use #LoveTheDarts