2016 Unibet Masters draw

michael-van-gerwen-raymond-barneveld-premier-league-darts-dublin_3286917
MvG and van Barneveld contested last year’s final. (Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his Unibet Masters title against Stephen Bunting, whilst last year’s runner-up Raymond van Barneveld will take on Michael Smith, when the tournament gets underway on Saturday January 30th, at the Arena MK, in Milton Keynes.

van Gerwen, who defeated his compatriot van Barneveld 11-6 in last year’s final, will be hoping to bounce back from his last 16 defeat to Raymond in last month’s World Championship when he faces ‘The Bullet’ in the opening round.

Gary Anderson, who successfully defended his World Championship title with victory over Adrian Lewis, will take on Vincent van der Voort. The pair met in the last 16 at Ally Pally, and the Scot dropped just one leg in dismantling the Dutchman, en route to claiming his second World title.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, who jumped up to 9th on the Order of Merit following his tremendous run to the semi-finals at the Worlds, will take on world number 8 Michael Smith.

van Barneveld and Smith met in the quarter-finals of the World Championships, where the Dutchman produced an incredible comeback from 3-0 down to defeat ‘Bully-Boy’ 5-4 in a pulsating clash.

16-time world champion Phil Taylor will meet his World Championship conqueror Jelle Klaasen in the first-round. Taylor, who has dropped to 4th in the world following Adrian Lewis’ run to the final will be hoping to avenge his last 16 defeat to ‘The Cobra’ in Milton Keynes.

Klaasen has climbed up six places to 13th on the Order of Merit following his run to the last four at the Worlds. He produced a tremendous performance to defeat Taylor 4-3 in the third-round, and will be hoping to continue his resurgence heading into 2016.

2014 Unibet Masters winner James Wade will take on eleventh seed and 9-time major finalist Terry Jenkins in the opening round. Wade, who claimed glory in 2014 following an astonishing comeback from 9-2 down to defeat Mervyn King 11-10, will be seeking to reclaim his title in 2016.

Adrian Lewis, runner-up in last month’s World Championship final, will clash with world number 12 Kim Huybrechts. The Belgian has slipped down to 14th in the world following his first-round exit against David Pallett at Ally Pally.

Lewis has risen up to 3rd on the Order of Merit, overtaking his former mentor Phil Taylor for the first time in his career. However, Huybrechts, who competed in last year’s Premier League, will provide stiff opposition for Jackpot.

World Grand-Prix champion Robert Thornton will face two-time major finalist Dave Chisnall in an all-Premier League clash. Thornton, currently ranked 7th in the world, will make his return to the Premier League in 2016 after gaining a wildcard invitation from the PDC.

Chisnall, who defeated Thornton 10-5 in the first-round of last year’s competition, will be hoping for a repeat performance in 2016. Last year’s Premier-League semi-finalist has returned to the world’s top 10 following his run to the last 16 of the World Championships.

‘Chizzy’ was beaten in a thrilling last 16 tussle by world number 5 Peter Wright who will meet Ian White in the competition’s remaining first-round clash. ‘Snakebite’ reached two major finals last year and will be hoping to clinch his elusive first major title in 2016.

Wright begins his campaign against ‘The Diamond’ Ian White, who has fallen to 12th in the world rankings following his shock first-round defeat at Alexandra Palace against Belgian youngster Dimitri van den Bergh.

The full tournament bracket, schedule, and format for the 2016 Unibet Masters can be found below.

2016 Unibet Masters
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Stephen Bunting (16)
Michael Smith (8) v Raymond van Barneveld (9)
Phil Taylor (4) v Jelle Klaasen (13)
Peter Wright (5) v Ian White (12)
Gary Anderson (2) v Vincent van der Voort (15)
Robert Thornton (7) v Dave Chisnall (10)
Adrian Lewis (3) v Kim Huybrechts (14)
James Wade (6) v Terry Jenkins (11)

Schedule of Play
Saturday January 30
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)

First Round x4
Robert Thornton v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Terry Jenkins
Peter Wright v Ian White
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
First Round x4
Adrian Lewis v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting

Sunday January 31
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)

Quarter-Finals
Lewis/Huybrechts v Wade/Jenkins
Anderson/van der Voort v Thornton/Chisnall
Taylor/Klaasen v Wright/White
van Gerwen/Bunting v Smith/van Barneveld

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Semi-Finals
Final

Format
First Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs

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