Three of the world's top five are in quarter-final action on Friday at the World Matchplay
The action gets underway from 7pm live on Sky Sports Action.
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 26/07/19 9:30pm
The semi-final line-up will be completed on Friday evening at the World Matchplay, as three of the world's top five battle for a place in the last four.
The bottom half of the draw was widely regarded as being the more favourable prior to the tournament, although shock exits for Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson in the top half have altered that perspective.
Rob Cross is the highest-ranked player left in the event, although Peter Wright is the man in form, as he bids to extend his remarkable 20-game unbeaten run.
Daryl Gurney continues his bid for a third major PDC title and Stephen Bunting, having pulled off the ultimate act of escapology in the opening two rounds, aims to reach only his third televised PDC semi-final.
Rob Cross vs Stephen Bunting
Two former world champions collide for a place in the last four, as second seed Cross takes on former Lakeside champion Bunting.
Both players are appearing in their first Matchplay quarter-finals although Cross' progression has been far more serene than his Nevada stablemate.
'Voltage' has dropped just eight legs en route to reaching the last eight, following up an emphatic 10-3 win over Chris Dobey with a convincing 11-5 success against Krzysztof Ratajski.
Bunting has survived match darts against Gerwyn Price and Ian White, edging out 'The Iceman' in a sudden-death epic 13-12, before recovering from 9-4 down to defeat White, who spurned five match darts.
'The Bullet' is featuring in only his second televised quarter-final since 2016 and he will return to the world's top 16 at the expense of Adrian Lewis, while Cross is remarkably aiming to scoop his first title of 2019.
Only Michael van Gerwen boasts a higher seasonal average than 'Voltage' and the World No 2 will sense a major opportunity, having dropped just three legs in his two previous meetings with Bunting.
Cross: "I expect to get stronger. Everyone is good in this draw. You can't take anyone for granted. Stephen just finds a way to win and fair play to him. Obviously I know him very well from Nevada. He's a great guy and a great player and he's just starting to show it."
Bunting: "It's special to reach the last eight of my favourite tournament, it's a massive moment in my career. I know I can do it, it's just about consistency and pushing myself to the limit and I believe I'm doing that now."
Peter Wright vs Daryl Gurney
Two major champions collide in the fourth and final quarter-final of this year's World Matchplay and we're almost certainly guaranteed fireworks.
Wright is enjoying a remarkable 20-game winning run dating back to the German Darts Masters and he has breezed through to his fifth straight World Matchplay quarter-final for the loss of seven legs.
The Scot has posted ton-plus averages in his last eight competitive outings and he subsequently boasts the highest tournament average as he eyes a fourth consecutive PDC title.
Gurney is through to his second World Matchplay quarter-final after battling past Ricky Evans and Keegan Brown and although he's not been at his vintage best, he's landed more maximums (17) than any other player in the opening two rounds.
The Northern Irishman has gone somewhat under the radar at the Winter Gardens this year, despite the fact he's the second-highest seed left in the tournament.
He reached the semi-finals in Blackpool in 2017 but was beaten by Wright on that occasion and Snakebite dominates their head-to-head record 17-8, having lost just one of his last eight matches against 'Super Chin'.
Wright: "I've found the little bit of magic I need and I'm going to get even better. This is a hard tournament but all the big names are gone and I think the hardest half of the draw now is the bottom half."
Gurney: "I'm looking forward to the game. I think everybody has tipped Peter to now be the favourite as he's playing better than anybody else, more consistent. I need to improve my game from the previous two games and if I can go up another gear I could still beat him."
Follow every dart from every session in Blackpool as the World Matchplay continues through to the final on Sunday, July 28.