Peter Wright cast aside any question marks over a big decline in form after a disappointing Premier League campaign.
Simon Whitlock had a dire start to 2019, and although his form has picked up a little in the last couple of months, he is not playing at the level that makes him a favourite to be relied on in this match.
Daryl Gurney has established himself as one of the top performers in the PDC and his displays in reaching the semi-finals of the Premier League backed this up.
Jonny Clayton will be keen to improve on his poor performance here in 2018 and although he could have certainly had a tougher draw this time out, it is still potentially a difficult game against a player who will see just participating in this tournament as a bonus due to his last-gasp qualification.
Wade has seen his career take an upward turn over the last year.
Michael van Gerwen will be hungry for success in Blackpool having not won the event since 2016 and he is also aiming to exorcise the demons of last year when he crashed out in round one against De Zwaan.
The 2018 World Matchplay runner-up Mensur Suljovic starts his campaign against the current Dutch number two Jermaine Wattimena.
This is the tie of the round with both players having won multiple World Championship titles.
Ian White’s 2019 has gone very well so far with some excellent performances, especially on the Euro Tour, and he has a good opening-round record at the Matchplay.
The impressively consistent Polish star Ratajski poses a big threat to the number 15 seed Darren Webster who would have hoped for a more favourable draw following a tough season so far.
This encounter promises to be one of the most certain must-watch ties of the opening round with the very talented Michael Smith taking on the impressive Jamie Hughes who is likely to be full of belief following his recent Czech Open win.
Dave Chisnall has put aside his disappointment at missing out on selection for the Premier League with some good results on tour and he comes into the Matchplay having won the Danish Open only a month ago.
Both of these players have had a tough time at the World Matchplay recently with two consecutive first-round exits for Price and four for Bunting so something has to give in this encounter.
This should be a heavy-scoring, entertaining match between two players capable of hitting a high amount of 180s.