GERWYN Price will start his bid for World Matchplay glory on Monday evening in Milton Keynes.

The world number three has been drawn against ProTour qualifier Danny Noppert in the first round of the 32-player £700,000 tournament at the Marshall Arena.

Price’s bid for the Phil Taylor Trophy, which will be lifted on Sunday, July 26, starts on day three and if he avoids an upset then the 35-year-old from Markham will lock horns with the winner of the Adrian Lewis versus Steve Beaton clash.

Three former champions will be in action on the opening night with Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Gary Anderson all taking to the oche on Saturday.

Two-time winner Van Gerwen, the top seed, takes on Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan, 2007 winner Wade will play former World Youth champion Keegan Brown while 2018 champion Gary Anderson comes up against Justin Pipe.

Two-time World Matchplay semi-finalist Simon Whitlock meets debutant Ryan Joyce in the tournament's opening fixture, and Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski takes on Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.

Rob Cross will begin his title defence on Sunday evening against Germany's Gabriel Clemens, on a night which also features world champion Peter Wright and former finalists Michael Smith and Mensur Suljovic.

Price is joined on the Monday night line-up by 2013 finalist Lewis, who faces evergreen Beaton, and two-time semi-finalist Daryl Gurney, who takes on Ricky Evans.

The tasty fixture between former UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall and two-time World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh concludes the first round on Tuesday, which also features the opening four matches from the last 16.

Going into the event, Van Gerwen is the 7/4 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors Betfred, with Wright 5/1 as he aims to add the World Matchplay title to his World Championship success.

Price is 13/2 to take victory, with Aspinall 9/1 ahead of 14/1 chance Anderson, while reigning champion Cross is joined by Smith and Durrant at 20/1.

World Matchplay schedule

Saturday, July 18 (6pm): First round – Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce, Krzysztof Ratajski v Jermaine Wattimena, James Wade v Keegan Brown, Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan, Gary Anderson v Justin Pipe

Sunday, July 19 (6pm): First round – Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Hughes, Glen Durrant v Jeffrey de Zwaan, Rob Cross v Gabriel Clemens, Peter Wright v Jose De Sousa, Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton

Monday, July 20 (6pm): First round – Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort, Ian White v Joe Cullen, Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans, Gerwyn Price v Danny Noppert, Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton

Tuesday, July 21 (6pm): First round – Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh. Second round - Smith/Clayton v Suljovic/Hughes, Anderson/Pipe v Wade/Brown, Van Gerwen/Dolan v Whitlock/Joyce, Cross/Clemens v Ratajski/Wattimena

Wednesday, July 22 (7pm): Second round – Gurney/Evans v Chisnall/Van der Voort, Aspinall/Van den Bergh v White/Cullen, Wright/De Sousa v Durrant/De Zwaan, Price/Noppert v Lewis/Beaton

Thursday, July 23 (7pm): Two quarter-finals

Friday, July 24 (7pm): Two quarter-finals

Saturday, July 25 (8pm): Semi-finals

Sunday July 26 (8.30pm): Final