Gary Anderson will begin the defence of his Betfred World Matchplay title against Dutchman Danny Noppert on the opening night in Blackpool.
World number one Michael van Gerwen will face Steve Beaton the following evening as the Winter Gardens stages the summer’s biggest darts event.
The draw has been made for the prestigious 32-player tournament, which takes place over nine days starting a week on Saturday.
Anderson overcame Mensur Suljovic in an epic final to claim glory in the 25th World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens 12 months ago.
The Scot will bid to retain the Phil Taylor Trophy, named after the Stoke darts legend who won the event 16 times.
Van Gerwen will be hoping to end his three-year wait for a third Blackpool title and will take on Beaton in a repeat of their memorable 2012 Winter Gardens clash, which saw Van Gerwen hit a nine-dart finish.
The 2007 champion James Wade is the only other previous winner in the field and he will play rising Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan, who returns to the scene of his incredible big-stage breakthrough 12 months ago, when he reached the semi-finals.
The first round over three days will see the top 16 in the Professional Darts Corporation’s world rankings take on 16 who qualified for the event via the ProTour.
Qualifier Glen Durrant is one of seven players taking to the famous Winter Gardens stage for the first time and he will meet 2013 runner-up Adrian Lewis.
Another World Matchplay debutant will be Jamie Hughes. After just over six months on the PDC tour, he will play Michael Smith, who has never progressed beyond the second round.
Last year’s runner-up Suljovic will begin his quest to go one better in 2019 against rapid-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, while world number two Rob Cross meets Chris Dobey, another Blackpool first-timer.
Newly-crowned US Darts Masters Champion Nathan Aspinall will be targeting a hat-trick of televised titles in 2019 and his first assignment will be against Mervyn King.
2019 Betfred World Matchplay first round draw (top-16 players first, with ranking)
SATURDAY, JULY 20 (from 7pm)
Nathan Aspinall (13) v Mervyn King
Gerwyn Price (7) v Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson (4) v Danny Noppert’
Rob Cross (2) v Chris Dobey
SUNDAY, JULY 21 (from 1pm)
Darren Webster (15) v Krzysztof Ratajski
Dave Chisnall (12) v Max Hopp
Ian White (10) v Joe Cullen
Michael Smith (5) v Jamie Hughes
SUNDAY, JULY 21 (from 7.30pm)
James Wade (8) v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Mensur Suljovic (9) v Jermaine Wattimena
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Steve Beaton
Adrian Lewis (16) v Glen Durrant
MONDAY, JULY 22 (from 7pm)
Jonny Clayton (14) v Keegan Brown
Simon Whitlock (11) v John Henderson
Daryl Gurney (3) v Ricky Evans
Peter Wright (6) v Vincent van der Voort