Michael van Gerwen will begin his title defence on the opening night of the 2019/2020 PDC World Darts Championship, with the schedule for darts’ biggest event now confirmed.

The festive feast of darts kicks-off on Friday December 13, with former Alexandra Palace semi-finalist Jelle Klaasen and Kevin Burness taking to the stage for the opening tie of the PDC World Darts Championship. The winner will return to the stage for the final game of the evening in a second round clash against three-time World Champion and world number one Van Gerwen.

Sandwiched between those ties will be two first round meetings as newly-crowned World Youth Champion Luke Humphries faces South Africa’s Devon Petersen, while Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts comes up against Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes.

Saturday December 14 will see former World Champion Rob Cross in action against Huybrechts or Nentjes, while legendary five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld begins his final PDC event against American veteran Darin Young.

The £2.5m event continues on Sunday December 15 with last year’s runner-up Michael Smith in action, before Gary Anderson opens his bid for a third on Monday December 16.

Tuesday December 17 will see rising Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan face the winner of Van Barneveld v Young, while on Wednesday December 18 James Wade will meet either Ritchie Edhouse or Boris Koltsov.

The first round concludes on Thursday December 19 with a clash between last year’s quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce and Jan Dekker, with Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price also opening his challenge against William O’Connor or Marko Kantele.

On Saturday December 21 the second round will draw to a close as former World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on either Josh Payne or Brazil’s Diogo Portela on a night which also features Glen Durrant’s Alexandra Palace debut and opening games for Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic.

The third round is split either side of the Christmas break, with the fourth round being played on December 27-28 ahead of the quarter-finals across two sessions on December 29.

The semi-finals on Monday December 30 will be followed by the final on Wednesday January 1 as sport’s first World Champion of 2020 is crowned after 16 days and 28 sessions of action.

Schedule 2020 PDC World Darts Championship

Friday December 13 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Jelle Klaasen v Kevin Burness (First Round)
Kim Huybrechts v Geert Nentjes (First Round)
Luke Humphries v Devon Petersen (First Round)
Michael van Gerwen v Klaasen/Burness (Second Round)

Saturday December 14
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Darius Labanauskas v Matthew Edgar (First Round)
Ryan Meikle v Yuki Yamada (First Round)
Luke Woodhouse v Paul Lim (First Round)
Jermaine Wattimena v Humphries/Petersen (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Mark McGeeney v Matt Campbell (First Round)
Jamie Hughes v Zoran Lerchbacher (First Round)
Raymond van Barneveld v Darin Young (First Round)
Rob Cross v Huybrechts/Nentjes (Second Round)

Sunday December 15
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Kyle Anderson v Xiaochen Zong (First Round)
Ross Smith v Ciaran Teehan (First Round)
Brendan Dolan v Nitin Kumar (First Round)
Ian White v Labanauskas/Edgar (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Arron Monk v Jose Justicia (First Round)
Andy Boulton v Danny Baggish (First Round)
James Richardson v Mikuru Suzuki (First Round)
Michael Smith v Woodhouse/Lim (Second Round)

Monday December 16 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Steve Lennon v Callan Rydz (First Round)
William O’Connor v Marko Kantele (First Round)
Vincent van der Voort v Keane Barry (First Round)
Gary Anderson v Dolan/Kumar (Second Round)

Tuesday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Ryan Searle v Robbie King (First Round)
Cristo Reyes v Lourence Ilagan (First Round)
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Noel Malicdem (First Round)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Hughes/Lerchbacher (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Ritchie Edhouse v Boris Koltsov (First Round)
Jose De Sousa v Damon Heta (First Round)
Ted Evetts v Fallon Sherrock (First Round)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Van Barneveld/Young (Second Round)

Wednesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ron Meulenkamp v Ben Robb (First Round)
Mickey Mansell v Seigo Asada (First Round)
Harry Ward v Madars Razma (First Round)
Stephen Bunting v Monk/Justicia (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

James Wilson v Nico Kurz (First Round)
Josh Payne v Diogo Portela (First Round)
Gabriel Clemens v Benito van de Pas (First Round)
James Wade v Edhouse/Koltsov (Second Round)

Thursday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round

Justin Pipe v Benjamin Pratnemer (First Round)
Ryan Joyce v Jan Dekker (First Round)
John Henderson v Richardson/Suzuki (Second Round)
Steve Beaton v K Anderson/Zong (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Chris Dobey v Meulenkamp/Robb (Second Round)
Danny Noppert v Lennon/Rydz (Second Round)
Dave Chisnall v Van der Voort/Barry (Second Round)
Gerwyn Price v O’Connor/Kantele (Second Round)

Friday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round

Darren Webster v Meikle/Yamada (Second Round)
Mervyn King v R Smith/Teehan (Second Round)
Jonny Clayton v Joyce/Dekker (Second Round)
Ricky Evans v McGeeney/Campbell (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Nathan Aspinall v Boulton/Baggish (Second Round)
Joe Cullen v Wilson/Kurz (Second Round)
Max Hopp v Clemens/Van de Pas (Second Round)
Peter Wright v Rodriguez/Malicdem (Second Round)

Saturday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round

Keegan Brown v Mansell/Asada (Second Round)
Simon Whitlock v Ward/Razma (Second Round)
Steve West v Searle/R King (Second Round)
Adrian Lewis v Reyes/Ilagan (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Daryl Gurney v Pipe/Pratnemer (Second Round)
Glen Durrant v De Sousa/Heta (Second Round)
Mensur Suljovic v Evetts/Sherrock (Second Round)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Payne/Portela (Second Round)

Sunday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Clayton/Joyce/Dekker v Bunting/Monk/Justicia
White/Labanauskas/Edgar v Hopp/Clemens/Van de Pas
Aspinall/Boulton/Baggish v Ratajski/Hughes/Lerchbacher

Evening Session (1900)
3x Third Round

Wade/Edhouse/Koltsov v Beaton/K Anderson/Zong
Cross/Huybrechts/Nentjes v Noppert/Lennon/Rydz
Van Gerwen/Klaasen/Burness v Evans/McGeeney/Campbell

Monday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Cullen/Wilson/Kurz v Wattimena/Humphries/Petersen
Lewis/Reyes/Ilagan v Webster/Meikle/Yamada
M Smith/Woodhouse/Lim v Van den Bergh/Payne/Portela

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Third Round

Chisnall/Van der Voort/Barry v De Zwaan/Van Barneveld/Young
G Anderson/Dolan/Kumar v West/Searle/R King
Wright/Rodriguez/Malicdem v Brown/Mansell/Asada

Friday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Whitlock/Ward/Razma v King/R Smith/Teehan
Suljovic/Evetts/Sherrock v Dobey/Meulenkamp/Robb
Gurney/Pipe/Pratnemer v Durrant/De Sousa/Heta

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round

Price/O’Connor/Kantele v Henderson/Richardson/Suzuki
Fourth Round games TBC

Saturday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Sunday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Monday December 30 (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals

Wednesday January 1 (1900 GMT)
Final

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Author: Pieter