Everything you need to know about the 2023 World Matchplay

Published on 14 July 2023 at 20:00

(SportingLife, 2022)


Yes it's that time of year again folks. The World Matchplay is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the PDC calendar by fans and players alike. Over the week ahead, 32 of the World's best will battle it out in a jam-packed Winter Gardens in Blackpool, known for having the loudest atmosphere on the tour.

The event will commence on the 15th of July and finish on the 23rd. The first round matches will be first to ten legs but this number will get steadily higher until the final which is best of 35. Each match must be won by two clear legs and will be extended to an extra six legs if necessary before a tie break is required.


In a town famous for it's tower, Michael Van Gerwen will be aiming to hit the same heights as last year, where he beat Gerwyn Price in the final. After missing the World Cup of Darts due to dental surgery, the Dutchman couldn't have asked for better return to the big stage, as he stormed to victory in the Polish Darts Masters last week. 'MVG' said himself he didn't expect to win the tournament, which will surely give him confidence going into Blackpool.

Raymond Van Barneveld will be returning to the tournament for the first time in five years, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on with his 7,000 strong 'Barney Army' behind him. Other notable arrow-smiths include Mike De Decker and Josh Rock, who will be competing in the event for the first time. 

Here's a look at the first round fixtures:


Joe Cullen v Mike De Decker

Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney

Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting

Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson



Danny Noppert v Martin Schindler

Dirk Van Duijvenbode v Kim Huybrechts

Damon Heta v Josh Rock

James Wade v Chris Dobey

Nathan Aspinall v Krzysztof Ratajski

Luke Humphries v Jose De Sousa

Michael Van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan

Michael Smith v Steve Beaton



Dimitri Van Den Bergh v Ross Smith

Ryan Searle v Raymond Van Barneveld

Peter Wright v Andrew Gilding

Jonny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens



According to the bookies, Michael Van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price are joint favourites, however it’s the Welshman that I fancy to go all the way this year. 'The Iceman' will have an extra incentive to win the tournament as it is the biggest event on the tour he is yet to win. Despite MVGs win last week, I'm still not sure he's quite up to full fitness yet in what will be a much longer format.

In terms of a dark horse, I would look at the game between Dimitri Van Den Bergh and Ross Smith as I think the winner of that could go far in the competition. Van Den Bergh goes into the tournament in good form after reaching the final in Poland last week, while Ross Smith goes to Blackpool as a major winner for the first time.


By Alistair Gordon

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