MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will begin his bid to win a third successive BetVictor World Matchplay title against Stephen Bunting, while Phil Taylor has drawn Gerwyn Price to open his final challenge at the Winter Gardens this month.

The prestigious tournament, televised live on Sky Sports, will see a 32-player field competing from July 22-30 at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

World Champion and top seed Van Gerwen has taken victory in Blackpool for the past two years, and will open his title defence against St Helens-based former Lakeside Champion Bunting.

Legendary 15-time World Matchplay champion Taylor, who is making his final Winter Gardens appearance ahead of his impending retirement, has drawn Welsh star Price for their first round meeting.

James Wade, the number six seed and the only other former World Matchplay winner in the field following his 2007 success, has drawn Norfolk's Darren Webster, who secured his qualification by winning last Saturday's Players Championship.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, the number nine seed and 2010 finalist, drew Sunday's Players Championship winner, Joe Cullen.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson and 2017 UK Open champion Peter Wright drew debutants Christian Kist and James Wilson respectively, while 2013 World Matchplay runner-up Adrian Lewis meets veteran star Steve Beaton.

Australian stars Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson will meet on the big stage for the first time in a televised ranking event, with the winner set to take on either Van Gerwen or Bunting.

Number five seed Dave Chisnall drew former semi-finalist Mervyn King, while Kim Huybrechts meets Alan Norris and Ian White takes on shooting star Rob Cross in a tough second quarter to the draw alongside Lewis and Beaton.

Number seven seed Mensur Suljovic, last year's European Championship finalist, will meet Scottish ace John Henderson, with Dutchmen Jelle Klaasen and Benito van de Pas coming up against Justin Pipe and Daryl Gurney respectively.

Former World Youth Champion Michael Smith and Robert Thornton are seeded in the bottom quarter of the draw, and will meet debutants Steve West and Cristo Reyes in their first round ties.

The schedule of play for the BetVictor World Matchplay will be confirmed in due course at www.pdc.tv.

Tickets for the BetVictor World Matchplay are still available from the Winter Gardens Box Office by telephone at 0844 856 1111 or online through www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

2017 BetVictor World Matchplay

Draw Bracket

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Stephen Bunting

Simon Whitlock (16) v Kyle Anderson

Phil Taylor (8) v Gerwyn Price

Raymond van Barneveld (9) v Joe Cullen

Dave Chisnall (5) v Mervyn King

Kim Huybrechts (12) v Alan Norris

Adrian Lewis (4) v Steve Beaton

Ian White (13) v Rob Cross

Gary Anderson (2) v Christian Kist

Benito van de Pas (15) v Daryl Gurney

Mensur Suljovic (7) v John Henderson

Jelle Klaasen (10) v Justin Pipe

James Wade (6) v Darren Webster

Michael Smith (11) v Steve West

Peter Wright (3) v James Wilson

Robert Thornton (14) v Cristo Reyes