James Wade begins the defence of his European Championship title against Jonny Clayton
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 30/09/19 12:05pm
James Wade kicks off the defence of his European Championship title against Jonny Clayton, while top seed Michael van Gerwen begins his bid for a fifth title against debutant Ross Smith.
Following the conclusion of the 13th and final European Tour event of 2019 in Gibraltar, the top 32 players on the European Tour Order of Merit have qualified for next month's event which will take place in Gottingen, Germany, from October 24-27.
Van Gerwen was denied a fifth successive European Championship title 12 months ago following a shock defeat against Steve West, but 'The Green Machine' begins his bid for title number five against debutant Smith.
Ian White, who won back-to-back European Tour titles earlier this year, takes on World Championship finalist Michael Smith in his opener.
The pair are practice partners and 'The Diamond' defeated Smith in Gibraltar, although 'Bully Boy' secured his qualification in last gasp fashion courtesy of his second round win over Danny Noppert.
International Darts Open winner Gerwyn Price faces Ted Evetts, German Darts Championship winner Daryl Gurney will play William O'Connor, as fifth seed Dave Chisnall takes on World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh.
Mensur Suljovic became the first Austrian to win a PDC event on home soil at the Austrian Darts Championship and he meets a resurgent Vincent van der Voort in his opener, while Peter Wright locks horns against exciting Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Joe Cullen is seeded eighth in Gottingen following his maiden big-stage success at the European Darts Matchplay and his reward is a showdown with the veteran Mervyn King.
Rob Cross - a European Championship finalist in 2017, plays Darren Webster in his opener, while Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes faces Jermaine Wattimena for a place in the last 16.
Elsewhere, newly crowned Gibraltar Darts Trophy champion Krzysztof Ratajski will face Chris Dobey, who reached the final of June's Danish Darts Open.
Defending champion Wade meets Welsh ace Clayton in round one, while former champions Adrian Lewis and Simon Whitlock clash in a fascinating tie, with 'The Wizard' having featured in three European Championship finals.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall will do battle with the ever-green Steve Beaton, before debutants Glen Durrant and Keegan Brown take on Ricky Evans and Stephen Bunting respectively.
2019 Unibet European Championship
(1) Michael van Gerwen v (32) Ross Smith
(16) Glen Durrant v (17) Ricky Evans
(8) Joe Cullen v (25) Mervyn King
(9) Rob Cross v (24) Darren Webster
(5) Dave Chisnall v (28) Dimitri Van den Bergh
(12) James Wade v (21) Jonny Clayton
(4) Daryl Gurney v (29) William O'Connor
(13) Adrian Lewis v (20) Simon Whitlock
(2) Ian White v (31) Michael Smith
(15) Keegan Brown v (18) Stephen Bunting
(7) Peter Wright v (26) Jeffrey de Zwaan
(10) Jamie Hughes v (23) Jermaine Wattimena
(6) Mensur Suljovic v (27) Vincent van der Voort
(11) Krzysztof Ratajski v (22) Chris Dobey
(3) Gerwyn Price v (30) Ted Evetts
(14) Nathan Aspinall v (19) Steve Beaton
The World Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday, October 6 at the Citywest Arena and seven days of coverage on Sky Sports continues until the final on Saturday, October 12.