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The race to the 2019 European Darts Championship: Nine spots still up for grabs in Göttingen

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European Darts Championship 2019 Day One Preview and Order of Play: Big guns begin Gottingen glory trail

European Darts Championship 2019 Draw: Wade to face Clayton in Gottingen

Jamie Shaw in European Championship 04 Dec 2019
James Wade is the reigning champion (credit:PDC Europe)
James Wade will begin the defence of his European Championship title with a clash against Jonny Clayton in Gottingen, with the First Round draw having been confirmed.
Following the 13th and final European Tour event of the season in Gibraltar on Sunday, the 32-man field for the Unibet European Championship was finalised.
The top 32 players from the European Order of Merit will compete for a record £500,000 prize fund at the Lokhalle in Gottingen, Germany, from October 24-27.
Wade, who claimed the title courtesy of an 11-8 victory over Simon Whitlock, launches his defence against Welsh star Clayton, with the draw based on seeding positions from the European Order of Merit.
Michael van Gerwen, the number one seed and four-time European Champion, starts out against debutant Ross Smith – who secured the 32nd and final place in the event.
Ian White, seeded number two after two European Tour triumphs in 2019, faces his close friend and practice partner Michael Smith in one of the stand-out ties of the opening round.
Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant, making his debut in the competition, takes on Euro Tour event finalist Ricky Evans, while World Matchplay champion Rob Cross meets 2018 quarter-finalist Darren Webster.
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price will take on emerging star Ted Evetts, while UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall faces former Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton.
European Matchplay champion Joe Cullen faces former semi-finalist Mervyn King, as Danish Open champion Dave Chisnall hosts World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh.
Gibraltar Trophy champion Krzysztof Ratajski starts out against Danish Open runner-up Chris Dobey, while Czech Open champion Jamie Hughes opens up against Dutch World Cup star Jermaine Wattimena.
Northern Ireland meets Republic of Ireland as Daryl Gurney takes on William O’Connor, with 2012 European Champion Simon Whitlock facing 2013 champion Adrian Lewis in another tasty tussle.
German Masters champion Peter Wright faces a tough opener against former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan, while former World Youth champion Keegan Brown takes on 2014 Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting.
Mensur Suljovic, the 2016 runner-up, starts out against former UK Open finalist Vincent van der Voort in another high-profile encounter.
The tournament schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.

Unibet European Championship 2019 Draw Bracket

First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ross Smith (32)
Glen Durrant (16) v Ricky Evans (17)
Joe Cullen (8) v Mervyn King (25)
Rob Cross (9) v Darren Webster (24)
Dave Chisnall (5) v Dimitri Van den Bergh (28)
James Wade (12) v Jonny Clayton (21)
Daryl Gurney (4) v William O’Connor (29)
Adrian Lewis (13) v Simon Whitlock (20)
Ian White (2) v Michael Smith (31)
Keegan Brown (15) v Stephen Bunting (18)
Peter Wright (7) v Jeffrey de Zwaan (26)
Jamie Hughes (10) v Jermaine Wattimena (23)
Mensur Suljovic (6) v Vincent van der Voort (27)
Krzysztof Ratajski (11) v Chris Dobey (22)
Gerwyn Price (3) v Ted Evetts (30)
Nathan Aspinall (14) v Steve Beaton (19)