BetVictor World Matchplay Preview

Blackpool’s famous Winter Gardens will host the 25th staging of the BetVictor World Matchplay, with 32 players competing live on Sky Sports for the newly-titled Phil Taylor Trophy.

The first round is split across the opening three days, including a double session on Sunday July 22, with a mouth-watering opening night set to see the tournament begin in style, with the all-Dutch tie between Michael van Gerwen and Jeffrey de Zwaan the headline tie.

Former finalist Adrian Lewis will face James Wilson in the opening fixture, before four-time quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall takes on Keegan Brown.

World number one Van Gerwen then meets Blackpool debutant De Zwaan, before 2018 Premier League finalist Michael Smith plays another World Matchplay debutant, Jonny Clayton.

Sunday’s afternoon session will see 2017 World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney take on Steve West, while Sunday evening’s play features reigning World Champion Rob Cross and two-time World Champion Gary Anderson.

Last year’s runner-up Peter Wright begins his quest for a maiden Matchplay title on the final night of first round action as he meets Jelle Klaasen, with former champion James Wade also playing Jermaine Wattimena on Monday evening.

The second round is split across Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Blackpool, with the players from the bottom half of the draw playing on Tuesday and those in the top half in action on Wednesday.

The quarter-finals are then split across Thursday and Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday before the eagerly-awaited final on Sunday.

The tournament features £500,000 prize money this year, including £115,000 to the eventual champion, with a £10,000 bonus on offer for a nine-dart finish.

Van Gerwen is the red-hot favourite with BetVictor to lift a third World Matchplay title at 4/6, Anderson is the 7/1 joint second favourite alongside Cross, with Wright in at 10/1.

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