Champions League of Darts 2019: Gary Anderson to defend title in eight-man field
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 30/07/19 5:41pm
The eight players who will compete in the 2019 Champions League of Darts have been confirmed following the conclusion of the World Matchplay.
Six players were already assured of qualification prior to their arrival at the Winter Gardens, although results from the event ensured that Gerwyn Price and James Wade will feature at the Morningside Arena in Leicester from October 19-20.
The players are split into two groups of four for the round-robin stage of the tournament, based on Order of Merit positions following the World Matchplay.
The opening three sessions in Leicester see the players in each group meet once, before the top two from each group progress to the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.
World No 1 Michael van Gerwen is bidding to win the event for the first time in his career. He was beaten in the final by Phil Taylor in the inaugural staging in 2016, before a shock group-stage exit in 2017 was followed by a semi-final defeat 12 months ago.
2019 Champions League of Darts
|Group A||Group B|
|Michael van Gerwen (1)||Rob Cross (2)|
|Michael Smith (4)||Daryl Gurney (3)|
|Gary Anderson (5)||Peter Wright (6)|
|James Wade (8)||Gerwyn Price (7)|
The three-time world champion will be joined in Group A by World Matchplay finalist Michael Smith, defending champion Gary Anderson and nine-time major winner Wade.
Smith is up to a career high of fourth in the world after reaching his fourth major televised final in the space of 15 months, which has seen him leapfrog his mentor Anderson - who defeated Peter Wright in last year's final.
Wade is making his second appearance in this event having reached the semi-finals in the inaugural 2016 staging and 'The Machine' sealed his qualification after edging out world No 9 Mensur Suljovic in the second round in Blackpool.
Group B will be headlined by newly crowned World Matchplay champion Rob Cross, who became just the fourth player in PDC history to win both the World Championship and World Matchplay titles following his 18-13 success over Smith.
Cross is joined in Group B by world No 3 Daryl Gurney, last year's finalist Wright and Grand Slam champion Price.
Gurney will be aiming to set the record straight when he takes on 'Voltage', after relinquishing a 15-9 advantage against the former world champion in the semi-finals at the Winter Gardens.
Last year's finalist Wright features in his fourth straight Champions League of Darts after his incredible 20-match winning run was ended by Gurney in Blackpool, while Price makes his debut in the eight-player event.
Champions League of Darts - Roll of Honour
Join us for coverage of the World Grand Prix from Dublin. The unique Double in, Double out format will be held from October 6-12 at the Citywest Hotel, live on Sky Sports Action.