Peter Wright draws Ross Smith in mouthwatering Players Championship Finals opening round tie

Peter Wright will begin his defence of the Cazoo Players Championship Finals title with a huge tie against Ross Smith, with the field and draw for this month's Minehead event now confirmed.

The competing players for the Players Championship Finals were finalised following Saturday's Players Championship 30, with the top 64 from the Players Championship Order of Merit following 30 events this year securing qualification.

This year's showpiece will take place at Butlin's Minehead Resort from November 25-27, with ninth seed Wright up against newly crowned European Champion Ross Smith in a blockbuster first round tie.

Smith produced an incredible comeback to stun Wright in last month's European Championship quarter-finals, and the pair will renew their rivalry later this month.

Top seed Damon Heta will open his campaign against Germany's Ricardo Pietreczko, with second seed Luke Humphries set to take on Northern Irish prospect Nathan Rafferty.

Six-time champion Michael van Gerwen could play emerging star Josh Rock in round two, should the pair overcome opening tests against Ryan Meikle and Cameron Menzies respectively.

World number one Gerwyn Price faces Ryan Joyce in another intriguing tussle, with Saturday's Players Championship 30 winner James Wade pitted against Austrian veteran Mensur Suljovic.

Elsewhere, 2014 champion Gary Anderson will face Germany's number one Gabriel Clemens, with 2018 winner Daryl Gurney set to meet a resurgent Keegan Brown for a place in round two.

Ryan Searle and Mervyn King - finalists in 2021 and 2020 respectively - collide in another tasty first round tussle, with UK Open champion Danny Noppert set to take on Australia's World Cup winner Simon Whitlock.

Nathan Aspinall and Dirk van Duijvenbode have scooped two Players Championship titles apiece in 2022, and they will kick off their title bids against Martijn Kleermaker and Mickey Mansell.

Two-time runner-up Adrian Lewis will meet UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry, while 2012 finalist Kim Huybrechts will lock horns with five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld.

Rob Cross and Dave Chisnall - seeded fifth and seventh respectively - are up against Dutch duo Kevin Doets and Niels Zonneveld, with 2017 runner-up Jonny Clayton set to play debutant John O'Shea.

Sixth seed Michael Smith continues his bid for televised ranking glory against Ritchie Edhouse, with the winner set to play Dimitri Van den Bergh or Martin Lukeman in round two.

2022 Cazoo Players Championship Finals Draw Bracket (first half)

  • (1) Damon Heta v (64) Ricardo Pietreczko
  • (32) Callan Rydz v (33) Madars Razma
  • (16) Andrew Gilding v (49) Ricky Evans
  • (17) Adrian Lewis v (48) Keane Barry
  • (8) Gerwyn Price v (57) Ryan Joyce
  • (25) Brendan Dolan v (40) Jermaine Wattimena
  • (9) Peter Wright v (56) Ross Smith
  • (24) Jonny Clayton v (41) John O'Shea
  • (4) Dirk van Duijvenbode v (61) Mickey Mansell
  • (29) Daryl Gurney v (36) Keegan Brown
  • (13) Ryan Searle v (52) Mervyn King
  • (20) Stephen Bunting v (45) Jamie Hughes
  • (5) Rob Cross v (60) Kevin Doets
  • (28) Gabriel Clemens v (37) Gary Anderson
  • (12) Martin Schindler v (53) Vincent van der Voort

The first round will be played across a bumper opening session on Friday November 25, with Saturday's double session featuring the second and third rounds.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will then be held on Sunday November 27, with the Winmau World Youth Championship final taking place during a blockbuster evening session.

The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding subscribers in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

2022 Cazoo Players Championship Finals Draw Bracket (second half)

  • (21) Chris Dobey v (44) Geert Nentjes
  • (2) Luke Humphries v (63) Nathan Rafferty
  • (31) Jim Williams v (34) Mike De Decker
  • (15) Krzysztof Ratajski v (50) William O'Connor
  • (18) Jose de Sousa v (47) Danny Jansen
  • (7) Dave Chisnall v (58) Niels Zonneveld
  • (26) Scott Williams v (39) Alan Soutar
  • (10) Joe Cullen v (55) Rowby-John Rodriguez
  • (23) Kim Huybrechts v (42) Raymond van Barneveld
  • (3) Nathan Aspinall v (62) Martijn Kleermaker
  • (30) Matt Campbell v (35) Steve Beaton
  • (14) Danny Noppert v (51) Simon Whitlock
  • (19) James Wade v (46) Mensur Suljovic
  • (6) Michael Smith v (59) Ritchie Edhouse
  • (27) Dimitri Van den Bergh v (38) Martin Lukeman
  • (11) Josh Rock v (54) Cameron Menzies
  • (22) Michael van Gerwen v (43) Ryan Meikl

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