Chisnall and Bunting go head-to-head (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Round Two concludes at the 2019 World Grand Prix in Dublin on Wednesday with three World Champions among a closely-matched line-up at the Citywest.
Three seeded players were sent packing as the Second Round got underway on Tuesday, meaning five of the eight seeds have already exited the double-start major.
Michael van Gerwen is the only previous winner of this event left standing in the competition, with a trio of debutants among the in-form players eyeing a career-changing triumph this weekend.
Undoubtedly the stand-out tie of the evening sees reigning World Matchplay champion Rob Cross take on reigning and three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.
Both players are entering uncharted territory in this competition, with Cross having registered his first win at the third attempt by edging out Mensur Suljovic, while Durrant came from a set down to deny man of the moment Krzysztof Ratajski.
Cross, the number two seed, boasts a superb record in televised tournaments this season, having reached four finals plus a further two Semi-Finals in the World Series.
However, he is situated in a gruelling section of the draw and knows he can ill-afford to be below his best if he is to end Duzza’s debut campaign.
Durrant’s dream first season as a PDC player continues to go from strength-to-strength, with two ranking titles and a World Matchplay Semi-Final to his name – he could break into the top 32 by the end of the week.
Peter Wright, last year’s beaten finalist, steps up his quest for a maiden Grand Prix title with a clash against dark horse Jermaine Wattimena in the final match of the evening.
Wright brushed aside Max Hopp in straight sets on Monday, and having slipped to world number seven, will be determined to climb back in the right direction by going deep in this tournament once again.
The PDC World Cup winner has won ten of his 13 previous meetings with Wattimena, including a straight sets rout at this stage of last year’s Grand Prix and a 6-0 whitewash in the subsequent European Championship.
Wattimena pulled off what he described as “the biggest win” of his career as he knocked out Adrian Lewis in Round One and the rapid Dutchman will have his sets set on another significant scalp here.
A familiar St Helens shoot-out sees Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting face off for the 18th time in the past decade.
Chisnall has the marginal upper-hand with nine victories, including each of their last four meetings, and is riding the crest of a wave after hitting a nine-darter in Gibraltar last weekend and coming through one of the ties of the round against Gerwyn Price.
Chisnall averaged 92.5 in that last-leg epic against Price and will be eyeing more of the same against an equally resurgent Bunting – who disposed of Jonny Clayton in successive sets.
Bunting, who is on the verge of a return to the world’s top 16, is looking to reach a fourth televised Quarter-Final in the space of 12 months and his first here since 2014.
The night’s opening fixture sees world number 12 Nathan Aspinall aiming to overcome former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert.
Aspinall is bidding for a third televised title of a breakthrough year which has seen him claim glory at the UK Open and US Masters on the back of last December’s ground-breaking run to the Semi-Finals of the World Championship.
The Stockport ace has preserved his best form for the sport’s biggest stages over the past 12 months and started promisingly here by thrashing Vincent van der Voort for the loss of just one leg despite admitting being distracted by a moving camera on stage and a snapped point in the board.
Noppert, now established among the world’s top 32, stunned 2017 champion Daryl Gurney with a straight sets scalp on Monday and will be keen to repeat the dose on ‘The Asp’ and reach his second Quarter-Final in eight televised PDC tournament appearances.
The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of five sets (best of five legs per set).
World Grand Prix 2019 Match Schedule
Wednesday October 9
7.15pm Danny Noppert v Nathan Aspinall
8.15pm Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
9.15pm Rob Cross v Glen Durrant
10.15pm Peter Wright v Jermaine Wattimena