Michael van Gerwen could open against Tabern at Ally Pally
Gary Anderson will face the winner of Nicholson and Burness
William Hill World Championship 2019
Starts December 13, Alexandra Palace
Michael van Gerwen, the 6-4 favourite to win the William Hill World Championship, which starts on December 13, has been drawn to meet either Alan Tabern or Australian qualifier Raymond Smith at Alexandra Palace.
Gary Anderson, 7-2 second favourite and, like Van Gerwen, a two-time winner of the biggest prize in darts, will take on the winner of Paul Nicholson or Kevin Burness.
While Van Gerwen and Anderson should be pleased enough with their draws, reigning champion Rob Cross faces a potential second-round showdown with dangerous young Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan – if De Zwaan can see off India's Nitin Kumar.
Monday's draw also featured two leading lights of the women's game, current BDO world ladies champ Lisa Ashton and Russia's Anastasia Dobromyslova.
Ashton, a 2,000-1 shot, is 5-2 with the sponsors to upset 3-10 Jan Dekker for the right to meet 19th seed Mervyn King in the second round. Dobromyslova, backable at 2,500-1, is 5-1 to upend 1-8 Ryan Joyce with Simon Whitlock lying in wait in the last 64.
Twenty-eight countries will be represented in London in an expanded 96-player field.
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