PDC World Matchplay Darts 2023 Tournament Preview & Schedule

2023 PDC World Matchplay Darts predictions will be in heavy focus in July 2023, as the next big PDC Darts ranking tournament arrives on the scene. This is one of the most popular events on the circuit and it has been entertaining fans for more than two decades.

Michael van Gerwen will be defending his title at the PDC World Matchplay Darts 2023. The tournament returns to the familiar setting of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and it runs from July 15th to 23rd.

Here are all the darts predictions and schedules for the World Matchplay Darts 2023 tournament.

World Matchplay Darts 2023 Draw

The World Matchplay Darts 2023 Draw features 32 players, including the top 16 from the PDC Order of Merit as of July 11th. Each one of the sixteen top seeds will meet an opponent from the PDC ProTour qualifiers in the First Round.


(1) Michael Smith v Steve Beaton
(16) James Wade v Chris Dobey
(8) Danny Noppert v Martin Schindler
(9) Nathan Aspinall v Krzysztof Ratajski
(4) Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting
(13) Joe Cullen v Mike De Decker
(5) Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
(12) Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson
(2) Peter Wright v Andrew Gilding
(15) Ryan Searle v Raymond van Barneveld
(7) Jonny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens
(10) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ross Smith
(3) Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan
(14) Damon Heta v Josh Rock
(6) Luke Humphries v Jose de Sousa
(11) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Kim Huybrechts

PDC World Matchplay Darts Players To Watch

The World Matchplay Darts betting market for the tournament has last year’s Finalists Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price back at the head of the outright winner market. But they are joined there by Michael Smith. The trio is streaks ahead of the rest of the field in terms of odds.

There is little to split Van Gerwen, Price and Smith in the 2023 World Matchplay Darts betting. Smith is the top seed for the event and opens against Steve Beaton before a potentially tricky clash against James Wade in the Second Round.

Gerwyn Price is seeded fourth for the event, putting him in the second quarter. If ‘The Iceman’ gets through, then there could potentially be a heavyweight clash for him against Smith at the semi-final stage. Price opens against Stephen Bunting and has Rob Cross and Dave Chisnall hovering in his section.

The Third Quarter of the draw is very interesting and the most wide-open of the four. Peter Wright, who has been having struggles with form in 2023 is in there but is a fairly big tournament outsider. Jonny Clayton and Dimitri Van den Bergh will pose big threats to take the competitive section from Wright.

Michael van Gerwen heads up the fourth quarter of the draw with a First Round match against Brendan Dolan. MVG has been back in big form recently, including sweeping the Premier League Darts title. The highest-seeded player that MVG could meet on his way to the semi-finals is Number 6 Luke Humphries. Humphries himself has the potential to go all the way, and could be a big dark horse after showing tremendous form on this year’s PDC European Tour.

Selected Pre-tournament Odds

Michael van Gerwen 10/3
Michael Smith 9/2
Gerwyn Price 4/1
Luke Humphries 12/1
Jonny Clayton 16-1
Josh Rock 20/1
Peter Wright 20/1
25/1 bar
*odds correct at time of writing from Ladbrokes

World Matchplay Darts 2023 Schedule

The length of matches will get progressively longer as the tournament winds on, from the best of 19 legs in the First Round to the best of 35 legs in the World Matchplay Darts 2023 Final.

A match victory has to be recorded by two clear legs. If at the end of the scheduled legs that hasn’t been achieved, a maximum of five additional legs can be played. Should the players still not be separated, the match will be deduced by a sudden-death leg.

First Round Matches – 15th-17th July (best of 19 legs)
Second Round Matches – July 18th-19th (best of 21 legs)
Quarter-Final Matches – July 20th-21st (best of 21 legs)
Semi-Final Matches – July 22nd (best of 33 legs)
Final – 23rd July (best of 35)

PDC World Matchplay Darts Predictions 2023

It’s a fantastic nine days of top darts action from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, one of the most raucous venues on the circuit. This is the 30th anniversary of the World Matchplay Darts in 2023 so the atmosphere should be ramped up even more.

Follow our daily darts predictions for the 2023 World Matchplay as the action unfolds, with coverage of fixtures from all the rounds.

PDC World Matchplay Stats and Trends

  • There have been 11 different winners in 29 editions
  • Only three players have won the tournament more than once
  • There has been a first-time winner in four of the last five editions
  • Only one of the last five Finals has featured an English player
  • Of active players, James Wade has reached more finals than anyone (6)
  • Michael van Gerwen has won three of four Final appearances

PDC World Matchplay Darts History

The inaugural World Matchplay Darts tournament was in 1994, won by American Larry Butler over Dennis Priestley. Priestley incidentally, lost in each of the first three World Matchplay finals. The bulk of the World Matchplay Darts history is dominated by Phil Taylor.

The legend claimed his first title in the 1995 edition. That would be the first of an astonishing 16 World Matchplay titles that ‘The Power’, arguably the greatest player to ever step up to the oche, would win in his long, illustrious career.

The only other players to have won the World Matchplay Darts title on more than one occasion are Michael van Gerwen and the retired Rod Harrington. The Dutchman got his hands on the title in 2015 for the first time and successfully defended it in the following campaign. In 2022, he stunned Gerwyn Price to claim his third.

2022 World Matchplay Recap

Peter Wright was the defending champion for the 2022 World Matchplay Darts, but his title defence attempt fell a long way short. ‘Snakebite’ was beaten heavily in the quarter-finals 16-14 by Dimitri Van den Bergh, the man who he had defeated to win the 2021 title.

Price’s early exit from the top half of the draw left the door wide open for Michael van Gerwen. After beating Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals, MVG saw off Van Den Bergh to set up a Final clash against Number Two seed Gerwyn Price.

Price, who had benefited from a comfortable draw, had been the pre-match favourite in World Matchplay Darts betting for the Final. But MVG put in one of his unbeatable vintage performances to take the match 18-14 after having trailed the Welshman for most of the match.

Where Can I Watch World Matchplay Darts 2023?

The World Matchplay Darts 2023 tournament is available to Sky Sports subscribers. The PDC TV streaming service, DAZN and Viaplay are also providing coverage but will be subject to geolocation restrictions. Look for live-streaming at your online bookmaker too.

Michael van Gerwen Premier League Darts

World Matchplay Darts 2023 FAQ

Who won the World Matchplay Darts 2022?
Michael van Gerwen defeated Gerwyn Price in the 2022 Final, claiming the title for the third time in his career and denying Price his first.

Who is in the World Matchplay Darts 2023 draw?
The top sixteen seeds on the PDC at the one-year rolling cut off date, plus sixteen qualifiers.

What are the World Matchplay Darts 2023 dates?
The First Round starts on July 15th, 2023 and ends with the Final on Sunday, July 23rd.

Who will win the PDC World Matchplay Darts 2023?
The pre-tournament favourite in darts betting, but only very narrowly, is the reigning champion Michael van Gerwen.

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About the author

Lee Jackson

Lee has been a freelance sports writer for over a decade and is a massive sports fan, following Chelsea in the Premier League and Gloucester in Premiership Rugby. Few sports events get him more excited than Ashes cricket, however.

Lee has followed darts since the good old days of Eric Bristow and John Lowe producing highlight moments at the World Championships on dark winter nights.