Phil Taylor will take on Sweden’s Magnus Caris as he starts his European Championship title chase in Dusseldorf later this month.
The Team Unicorn star has won all four European Championship tournaments so far – beating World Champion Adrian Lewis in a thrilling final 12 months ago.
Caris will provide a tough test for Taylor, who is in the same half of the draw as Andy Hamilton, Wes Newton and Mark Webster.
‘The Power’ could then play either Jerry Hendriks or Mensur Suljovic in round two, before a possible quarter-final against Webster or possibly Justin Pipe.
Taylor will again start odds-on favourite with the bookies to win it again as the sport of darts continues to pack out venues around Germany.
Hamilton is involved in one of two all Unicorn clashes in the 1st Round. ‘The Hammer’ will face Paul Nicholson, while No.7 seed Terry Jenkins plays Raymond van Barneveld in arguably THE tie of the round!
Team Unicorn German ace Michael Rosenauer will be thrilled to get the chance to play in a TV ‘Major’ on home soil and he will relish a showdown with Ronnie Baxter.
Elsewhere, Kevin Painter plays Mervyn King and James Wade has been handed a hard draw against Colin Lloyd.
Wes Newton is the 4th seed and is also in the top half of the draw along with Taylor, Hamilton, Nicholson, Painter and Rosenauer!
Newton plays Germany’s Tomas Seyler in that first round.
Gary Anderson again misses the tournament but will be back in action at the end of the month, refreshed and raring to go.
The European Championship takes place in Muelheim, near Dusseldorf from September 20-23 and will be screened by ESPN.
European Championship full draw (seeds in bracket):
Phil Taylor (1) v Magnus Caris
Jerry Hendriks v Mensur Suljovic
Mark Webster (8) v Andree Welge
Justin Pipe v Brendan Dolan
Andy Hamilton (5) v Paul Nicholson
Ronnie Baxter v Michael Rosenauer
Wes Newton (4) v Tomas Seyler
Mervyn King v Kevin Painter
Adrian Lewis (2) v Ian White
Kim Huybrechts v Vincent van der Voort
Terry Jenkins (7) v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Smith
Simon Whitlock (6) v Mark Walsh
Dave Chisnall v Gino Vos
James Wade (3) v Colin Lloyd
Richie Burnett v Co Stompe
By STUART PYKE