Michael van Gerwen could face fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in World Championship
Van Gerwen will take on Klaasen or Burness on the tournament's opening night on Friday 13 December
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 25/11/19 8:33pm
Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Darts Championship title against either former BDO world champion Jelle Klaasen or Northern Ireland's Kevin Burness, after the draw was made live on Sky Sports News on Monday evening.
Van Gerwen defeated Michael Smith to clinch his third world title 12 months ago but he could face a tough tie against his compatriot Klaasen - a semi-finalist at Alexandra Palace back in 2016.
Second seed Rob Cross - who won the title on debut back in 2018, faces a potential second-round showdown against former Premier League star Kim Huybrechts, who faces Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes in his opener.
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price will lock horns with either World Cup finalist William O'Connor or Finland's Marko Kantele, whilst last year's finalist Michael Smith could face Singapore veteran Paul Lim, if he overcomes Luke Woodhouse.
Raymond van Barneveld will begin his final competitive event before retirement against experienced American Darin Young.
The five-time world champion is competing in his 28th and final World Championship and could face his protege Jeffrey de Zwaan if he overcomes Young in round one.
Two-time champion Gary Anderson could meet last year's quarter-finalist Brendan Dolan in the second round, if the resurgent Northern Irishman overcomes Indian qualifier Nitin Kumar.
Sixth seed Daryl Gurney will play three-time major semi-finalist Justin Pipe or Slovenia's Benjamin Pratnemer, while Peter Wright opens his campaign against the winner of the tie between Rowby-John Rodriguez and Noel Malicdem.
This is the only major ranking tournament in which James Wade has never reached the final and the nine-time major winner begins his bid for world title glory against either Ritchie Edhouse or Russia's World Cup captain Boris Koltsov.
Ninth seed Ian White will play either Darius Labanauskas or Matthew Edgar - who meet in round one for the second straight year, whilst in-form Dave Chisnall battles Vincent van der Voort or Irish youngster Keane Barry.
Three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant faces a tough assignment on his Alexandra Palace debut. He will collide with either two-time Pro Tour winner Jose De Sousa or Brisbane Darts Masters winner Damon Heta.
Fallon Sherrock, who came through Monday's UK & Ireland's Women's Qualifier, has been pitted against Development Tour champion Ted Evetts for the right to meet 11th seed Mensur Suljovic in round two.
Meanwhile, reigning women's world champion Mikuru Suzuki takes on James Richardson, with a showdown against former World Grand Prix semi-finalist John Henderson the reward for the victor.
2019/2020 William Hill World Darts Championship
Seeded Players Enter In Second Round
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Jelle Klaasen/Kevin Burness
(32) Ricky Evans v Mark McGeeney/Matt Campbell
(16) Jonny Clayton v Ryan Joyce/Jan Dekker
(17) Stephen Bunting v Arron Monk/Jose Justicia
(8) James Wade v Ritchie Edhouse/Boris Koltsov
(25) Steve Beaton v Kyle Anderson/Xiaochen Zong
(9) Ian White v Darius Labanauskas/Matthew Edgar
(24) Max Hopp v Gabriel Clemens/Benito van de Pas
(5) Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan/Nitin Kumar
(28) Steve West v Ryan Searle/Robbie King
(12) Nathan Aspinall v Andy Boulton/Danny Baggish
(21) Krzysztof Ratajski v Jamie Hughes/Zoran Lerchbacher
(4) Michael Smith v Luke Woodhouse/Paul Lim
(29) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Josh Payne/Diogo Portela
(13) Adrian Lewis v Cristo Reyes/Lourence Ilagan
(20) Darren Webster v Ryan Meikle/Yuki Yamada
(2) Rob Cross v Kim Huybrechts/Geert Nentjes
(31) Danny Noppert v Steve Lennon/Callan Rydz
(15) Joe Cullen v James Wilson/Nico Kurz
(18) Jermaine Wattimena v Luke Humphries/Devon Petersen
(7) Peter Wright v Rowby-John Rodriguez/Noel Malicdem
(26) Keegan Brown v Mickey Mansell/Seigo Asada
(10) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort/Keane Barry
(23) Jeffrey de Zwaan v Raymond van Barneveld/Darin Young
(6) Daryl Gurney v Justin Pipe/Benjamin Pratnemer
(27) Glen Durrant v Jose De Sousa/Damon Heta
(11) Mensur Suljovic v Ted Evetts/Fallon Sherrock
(22) Chris Dobey v Ron Meulenkamp/Ben Robb
(3) Gerwyn Price v William O'Connor/Marko Kantele
(30) John Henderson v James Richardson/Mikuru Suzuki
(14) Simon Whitlock v Harry Ward/Madars Razma
(19) Mervyn King v Ross Smith/Ciaran Teehan