CROSS SET FOR TITLE DEFENCE, AS HUMPHRIES FACES POTENTIAL LITTLER CLASH

Rob Cross will begin his defence of the NEO.bet European Darts Grand Prix against Martin Schindler or Gian van Veen, with Luke Humphries and Luke Littler poised to renew their rivalry in Sindelfingen this weekend.

The Glaspalast will play host to the year’s fourth PDC European Tour event from April 19-21, with the draw and schedule now confirmed for the £175,000 tournament.

This weekend’s action will see reigning champion Cross competing alongside world number one Humphries, Dutch superstar Michael van Gerwen and the returning Littler, who won the year’s first European Tour title on debut in Wieze last month.

Friday’s first round – which will be broadcast through PDCTV, Viaplay and DAZN – will feature 16 matches across two sessions, as Germany’s new number one Schindler takes centre stage.

Schindler defeated Gerwyn Price to triumph in last weekend’s NEO.bet International Darts Open, and the diminutive German will begin his bid for back-to-back European Tour titles against European Championship semi-finalist Van Veen.

Schindler’s World Cup partner Gabriel Clemens will play Rene Eidams in an all-German affair, while Host Nation Qualifier Arno Merk has the unenviable task of taking on Belgian Darts Open champion Littler for a place in round two.

Franz Roetzsch will make his return to home soil against five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, while the talented Niko Springer faces World Championship semi-finalist Scott Williams in his opening game.

2017 champion Peter Wright – also a three-time runner-up in Sindelfingen – opens his challenge against Mickey Mansell, as Joe Cullen meets Swedish qualifier Johan Engstrom.

Former European Darts Grand Prix winners Jose de Sousa and Ian White face Daryl Gurney and Chris Dobey respectively, with Masters champion Stephen Bunting drawn against Croatia’s Romeo Grbavac.

2023 UK Open champion Andrew Gilding goes head-to-head with Brendan Dolan in another intriguing tie, while Ritchie Edhouse will aim to build upon his run to the quarter-finals in Riesa when he meets 2018 runner-up James Wade.

The 16 seeded players will then headline Saturday’s second round, as defending champion Cross prepares to take on Schindler or Van Veen for a place in the last 16.

Humphries, meanwhile, could play Littler in a repeat of January’s World Championship showpiece, with the World Champion aiming to repeat his 2022 triumph in Sindelfingen.

Third seed Price will kick off his campaign against Gilding or Dolan, while two-time champion Van Gerwen could renew his rivalry with Cullen, in a repeat of the 2022 Premier League final.

Stephen Burton and Keane Barry will battle it out for the right to play top seed Dave Chisnall, as fourth seed Damon Heta awaits the winner of the clash between Wright and Mansell.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson has been handed a tie with Niels Zonneveld or former PDC Asian Champion Christian Perez, while 2023 World Champion Michael Smith meets Roetzsch or Van Barneveld for a place in the last 16.

Ricardo Pietreczko is guaranteed to face a fellow countryman in the shape of Clemens or Eidams, before fifth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode enters the fray against Edhouse or Wade.

Following Saturday’s second round, the last 16 will take place on Sunday afternoon, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

NB: From the original list of entries, Nathan Aspinall has withdrawn due to personal reasons, while Dimitri Van den Bergh is absent due to illness. They have been replaced by Ian White and Niels Zonneveld from the Reserve List.

Live coverage of all 2024 European Tour events will be streamed through Viaplay, and through DAZN for viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Coverage will also be shown on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ worldwide.

2024 NEO.bet European Darts Grand Prix

Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, April 19-21

Tournament Draw Bracket – Second Round Onwards

(6) Josh Rock v Callan Rydz/Jeffrey Sparidaans

(11) Michael Smith v Franz Roetzsch/Raymond van Barneveld

(3) Gerwyn Price v Andrew Gilding/Brendan Dolan

(14) Gary Anderson v Niels Zonneveld/Christian Perez

(7) Rob Cross v Martin Schindler/Gian van Veen

(10) Danny Noppert v Jose de Sousa/Daryl Gurney

(2) Luke Humphries v Arno Merk/Luke Littler

(15) Ryan Searle v Stephen Bunting/Romeo Grbavac

(5) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Ritchie Edhouse/James Wade

(12) Ross Smith v Luke Woodhouse/Martin Lukeman

(4) Damon Heta v Peter Wright/Mickey Mansell

(13) Krzysztof Ratajski v Scott Williams/Niko Springer

(8) Michael van Gerwen v Johan Engstrom/Joe Cullen

(9) Jonny Clayton v Chris Dobey/Ian White

(1) Dave Chisnall v Stephen Burton/Keane Barry

(16) Ricardo Pietreczko v Gabriel Clemens/Rene Eidams

Schedule of Play

Friday April 19

First Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Callan Rydz v Jeffrey Sparidaans

Stephen Burton v Keane Barry

Scott Williams v Niko Springer

Andrew Gilding v Brendan Dolan

Luke Woodhouse v Martin Lukeman

Johan Engstrom v Joe Cullen

Niels Zonneveld v Christian Perez

Jose de Sousa v Daryl Gurney

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Ritchie Edhouse v James Wade

Stephen Bunting v Romeo Grbavac

Franz Roetzsch v Raymond van Barneveld

Chris Dobey v Ian White

Arno Merk v Luke Littler

Martin Schindler v Gian van Veen

Peter Wright v Mickey Mansell

Gabriel Clemens v Rene Eidams

Saturday April 20

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Krzysztof Ratajski v Williams/Springer

Ross Smith v Woodhouse/Lukeman

Ryan Searle v Bunting/Grbavac

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Edhouse/Wade

Danny Noppert v De Sousa/Gurney

Jonny Clayton v Dobey/White

Dave Chisnall v Burton/Barry

Josh Rock v Rydz/Sparidaans

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Gary Anderson v Zonneveld/Perez

Gerwyn Price v Gilding/Dolan

Michael Smith v Roetzsch/Van Barneveld

Damon Heta v Wright/Mansell

Rob Cross v Schindler/Van Veen

Michael van Gerwen v Engstrom/Cullen

Luke Humphries v Merk/Littler

Ricardo Pietreczko v Clemens/Eidams

Sunday April 21

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Final

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Photos credit PDC

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