King and Taylor collide on the big stage once again (credit: Lawrence Lustig/ PDC)
Phil Taylor begins the defence of his World Matchplay crown and launches a bid for a fifth successive title as he takes on old rival Mervyn King in Monday's box office clash at the Winter Gardens.
The pair will renew their flickering rivalry in what promises to be a thrilling first round encounter at approximately 9pm this evening.
Taylor is searching for a record equalling fifth successive Matchplay crown and it is no secret that he often brings his best form to the Winter Gardens stage.
The Power's dominance of this event over the past two decades is largely down to the lengthy format which allows his unrivalled quality to shine through, as well as being able to handle the heat of the Blackpool stage.
King however comes into the game under no pressure and will be hoping to shock the Stoke legend. The Norfolk ace is enjoying a mini resurgence after slipping down the rankings following a turbulant 18 months in which he has been set back by Tennis elbow and personal problems off the oche.
The duo have contested many classic and at times controversial battles in recent years and Taylor will be out for revenge after losing to 8-5 to The King the last time they met at the Players Championship finals last December.
They have met a total of 32 times in previous major competition and unsurprisingly it's Taylor who has dominated proceedings having taken victory on 24 occasions, including a 17-6 crushing of King in the Semi-Finals here in 2009.
The bookmakers make Taylor the huge odds-on favourite at 1/8 to progress over the long format, with King out at 5/1 to cause a major upset with Bet365
The match begins at around 9.00pm BST and will be streamed live over the best of 19 legs from the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.