The Betway World Cup of Darts begins on Thursday, with the Netherlands bidding to retain their title in the 32-nation Pairs tournament which is being held across four days at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt.
The £300,000 tournament will see a combination of Doubles and Singles matches played as nations do battle for the title, which was won by the Netherlands’ Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld last June.
That win was the Netherlands’ third in seven stagings of the event, with four-time winners England the only other champions so far.
Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld will team up again in Germany as they bid to retain the title, with sponsors Betway making the number three seeds Evens favourites to lift the trophy ahead of their first round clash with Gibraltar’s Dyson Parody and Justin Broton on Friday.
England will be represented by a new-look line-up of World Champion Rob Cross and Dave Chisnall, and enter the tournament as 5/1 third favourites with Betway ahead of their round one tie with Czech Republic on Friday.
Scotland, who were finalists in 2015, will be represented by Gary Anderson and Peter Wright, and come into the tournament as 11/4 second favourites with Betway.
However, having been knocked out by Singapore in the first round 12 months ago, the Scots are wary ahead of their first round match against the United States of America in Thursday’s opening night.
Thursday’s opening night also sees 2012 finalists Australia, represented by Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson, face Hong Kong.
Last year’s runners-up Wales will be represented by Gerwyn Price and World Cup debutant Jonny Clayton, and they will take on Thailand on the opening night.
Momo Zhou will become the first woman to represent China on a PDC stage as she partners Xiaochen Zong in their opening round game with Switzerland.
The tournament’s opening match will see Canada’s World Cup ever-present John Part team up with debutant Dawson Murschell as they take on Italy.
Three-time World Champion Part is hoping to continue his renaissance having reached the quarter-finals of the UK Open earlier in the year.
The Betway World Cup of Darts continues with the second round split across two sessions on Saturday June 2, with the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening.
1 Scotland – Peter Wright & Gary Anderson
2 England – Rob Cross & Dave Chisnall
3 Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld
4 Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
5 Wales – Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton
6 Northern Ireland – Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
7 Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh
8 Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Zoran Lerchbacher
Brazil – Diogo Portela & Bruno Rangel
Canada – John Part & Dawson Murschell
China – Momo Zhou & Xiaochen Zong
Czech Republic – Roman Benecky & Karel Sedlacek
Denmark – Per Laursen & Henrik Primdal
Finland – Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele
Germany – Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Justin Broton
Greece – John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis
Hong Kong – Royden Lam & Ho Yin Shek
Hungary – Tamas Alexits & Nandor Bezzeg
Italy – Michel Furlani & Alessio Medaina
Japan – Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu
New Zealand – Cody Harris & Warren Parry
Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
Republic of Ireland – Steve Lennon & William O’Connor
Russia – Boris Koltsov & Aleksandr Oreshkin
Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim
South Africa – Devon Petersen & Liam O’Brien
Spain – Cristo Reyes & Toni Alcinas
Sweden – Daniel Larsson & Dennis Nilsson
Switzerland – Alexander Fehlmann & Andreas Bless
Thailand – Thanawat Gaweenuntavong & Attapol Eupakaree
United States of America – Larry Butler & Darin Young
Italy v Canada
Russia v Spain
Switzerland v China
Denmark v Brazil
Wales v Thailand
Australia v Hong Kong
Scotland v United States of America
Austria v Japan
New Zealand v Singapore
Greece v Finland
Northern Ireland v Poland
Hungary v South Africa
Belgium v Republic of Ireland
England v Czech Republic
Sweden v Germany
Netherlands v Gibraltar
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the World Cup of Darts for another year. The knockout format makes it really exciting right from the start of the tournament and it promises to be a fantastic event with all of the world’s top players representing their countries in Frankfurt.
“Unsurprisingly, with Michael van Gerwen in such red-hot form, the Netherlands are our even-money favourites to retain the title they won last year, ahead of the Scottish pairing of Peter Wright and Gary Anderson at 11/4.
“The Dutch look the team to beat, but we’ve seen some each-way support for Wales and Australia with punters believing they could be the ones who give the Dutch pair the most to think about.”