Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis feature on opening night of World Matchplay
Latest instalment of one of darts' major competitions gets underway on July 21; Watch live on Sky Sports with Phil Taylor featuring as part of the coverage
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 08/07/18 5:09pm
World No 1 Michael van Gerwen will headline the opening night of the World Matchplay later this month, with Adrian Lewis also in action on Day One at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Following Thursday's draw, the schedule has been confirmed and kicking off the action will be Lewis, runner-up to Phil Taylor in a thrilling final in 2013 and a semi-finalist last year. He will look to bring his resurgent Pro Tour form to the big stage when faces James Wilson in the opening first-round tie.
Also in action on the opening night is eighth seed Dave Chisnall and Premier League runner-up Michael Smith, who face Keegan Brown and Jonny Clayton respectively.
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The headline act on Day One will be Van Gerwen, runner-up in the Taylor fairytale last year, with the two-time champion facing fellow Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan.
The first of Sunday's double session will see fifth seed and World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney against in-form Steve West, while Ian White against German star Max Hopp is another eye-catching tie.
A moutwathering Sunday night is in store with Gary Anderson against Stephen Bunting, Raymond van Barneveld facing Kyle Anderson and world champion Rob Cross taking on Mervyn King.
The first round of the elite 32-man event comes on Monday, July 23 when the only champion other than Van Gerwen enters the fray - five-time runner-up James Wade faces quickfire Jermaine Wattimena as he chases a repeat of his 2007 success.
Second seed Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock are also in action before the second round gets underway on Tuesday.
Saturday 21 July
(16) Adrian Lewis v James Wilson
(8) Dave Chisnall v Keegan Brown
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey de Zwaan
(9) Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton
Sunday 22 July
(14) Darren Webster v Steve Lennon
(11) Ian White v Max Hopp
(12) Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
(5) Daryl Gurney v Steve West
(6) Mensur Suljovic v Steve Beaton
(4) Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting
(3) Rob Cross v Mervyn King
(13) Raymond van Barneveld v Kyle Anderson
Monday 23 July
(15) Kim Huybrechts v John Henderson
(7) Simon Whitlock v Richard North
(10) James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena
(2) Peter Wright v Jelle Klaasen
Tuesday 24 July
(8) Dave Chisnall/Keegan Brown v (9) Michael Smith/Jonny Clayton
(5) Daryl Gurney v Steve West v (12) Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
(1) Michael van Gerwen/Jeffrey de Zwaan v (16) Adrian Lewis/James Wilson
(4) Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting v (13) Raymond van Barneveld v Kyle Anderson
Wednesday 25 July
(7) Simon Whitlock/Richard North v (10) James Wade/Jermaine Wattimena
(6) Mensur Suljovic/Steve Beaton v (11) Ian White/Max Hopp
(3) Rob Cross/Mervyn King v (14) Darren Webster/Steve Lennon
(2) Peter Wright/Jelle Klaasen v (15) Kim Huybrechts/John Henderson
Thursday 26 July
2 x Quarter-Finals
Friday 27 July
2 x Quarter-Finals
Saturday 28 July
2 x Semi-finals
Sunday July 29
Coverage of the World Matchplay, when 16-time world champion Phil Taylor will be with part of the Sky Sports teams gets underway on Saturday 21 July and will run through to the final on Sunday 29 July.