World Matchplay: Phil Taylor to open defence of his title against Stuart Kellett

Last Updated: 19/07/13 2:23pm

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Phil Taylor: Will open the defence of his World Matchplay title against Stuart Kellett

Phil Taylor: Will open the defence of his World Matchplay title against Stuart Kellett

Sky Bet

World number one Phil Taylor will open the defence of his World Matchplay title with a first round clash against Stuart Kellett.

Taylor defeated James Wade in the final 12 months ago to win the tournament for a fifth straight year and a 13th time in total.

Taylor will be a red-hot favourite to overcome Kellett with the 31-year-old Mancunian making his debut in the event at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.

Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen kicks off his campaign with a clash against former World No 1 Colin Lloyd.

The Dutchman - who produced a nine-dart finish in the championship last year - heads in this time around as the bookmakers' favourite to claim the title.

Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis starts against Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts, while Raymond van Barneveld faces Austria's Mensur Suljovic.

The pick of the other first-round ties see James Wade take on John Part, Mervyn King do battle with Gary Anderson and Dave Chisnall clash with Paul Nicholson.

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