De Zwaan celebrates against Van Gerwen at the 2018 Matchplay (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The Second Round action gets underway at the 2019 World Grand Prix in Dublin on Tuesday with two multiple winners of this event among a star-studded line-up at the Citywest.
The opening round laid claim to two of the eight seeds, with Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price both sent packing on Monday, while three players enjoyed winning debuts in the prestigious double-start tournament.
The big names will breathe a sigh of relief as the format increases to best-of-five but can still cannot afford to let their guard down against hungry opposition.
Michael van Gerwen continues his quest to retain this title for the first time when he faces Dutch nemesis Jeffrey de Zwaan in what promises to be a pulsating battle.
De Zwaan has proved to be MVG’s bogey man in recent seasons, having won two of their three previous televised encounters – most recently at the 2018 World Matchplay.
De Zwaan, who is vying with Jermaine Wattimena to become the established Dutch number two, whitewashed Steve Beaton in consecutive legs on opening night and will be keen to take that ruthless edge into his latest show-down with the world number one.
Van Gerwen survived a scare as he came from a set down and produced a skin-saving 135 checkout on the way to denying debutant Jamie Hughes in Round One.
Four times a Grand Prix champion, Van Gerwen has reached the final in five of his eight appearances and will look to go through the gears over the extended format.
Two Dunvegan stablemates collide in a repeat of their epic World Championship clash last December as Gary Anderson takes on Chris Dobey in the final match of the night.
Anderson prevailed by four sets to three in one of the matches of the tournament at Ally Pally and will be wary of his young protege on a revenge mission.
The Flying Scotsman, runner-up here in 2016, swept aside Keegan Brown in straight sets and will be encouraged by his dominant head-to-head record of five wins from his six previous meetings with Dobey.
Dobey, who was one of the nine ‘Contenders’ drafted in to replace Anderson in this year’s Premier League, marked his Dublin debut with an impressive 2-0 win over Ricky Evans and is now looking to pile the pressure on the two-time World Champion under this unconventional format.
A repeat of the 2009 Premier League and 2014 Masters finals sees darting stalwarts James Wade and Mervyn King collide in the opening match of the evening.
Wade knows what it takes to triumph in this event, having done so in 2007 and 2010, while King let the title slip through his grasp at the hands of MVG in the 2012 final.
Wade ended a run of four consecutive First Round exits at the Citywest by edging out John Henderson in a deciding set and will look to raise his game accordingly against of the sport’s most tenacious characters.
King recovered from a set down to dispatch debutant Dimitri van den Bergh in Round One and is bidding to reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time since 2014.
Another closely-matched contest sees practice partners Michael Smith and Ian White put their friendship to one side for the fifth time this year.
A dress rehearsal in Gibraltar last weekend saw White prevail 6-4, but it’s Smith who holds the overall upper-hand with 12 wins from their 18 encounters.
Smith scraped past Simon Whitlock with the aid of a pivotal 128 checkout and is now looking to surpass the second hurdle at the Citywest for the first time.
White, meanwhile, battled back from the brink as he denied Joe Cullen from a set and two legs down, and victory here would hand him a first televised Quarter-Final spot since the 2017 UK Open.
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
Tuesday October 8
7.15pm James Wade v Mervyn King
8.15pm Michael Smith v Ian White
9.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey De Zwaan
10.15pm Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey