The Dutch ace will play on the opening day of the event having won the trophy 12 months ago, but will automatically be placed into the second round.
All top 32 players go straight into the second round of the tournament and will play the winners of round one matches which feature players who had to qualify.
Elsewhere, 2018 world champion Rob Cross could face Kim Huybrechts while Raymond van Barneveld kicks-off his final PDC event against Darin Young. If the five-time world champion wins, he will set up an all-Dutch affair with Jeffrey de Zwaan in Round 2.
Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright will play either Rowby-John Rodriguez or Noel Malicdem in the second round. Wright has slipped back to number seven in the world despite playing in the last two PDC major finals.
The female players
For the second year running, the PDC World Darts Championship will feature two female players.
Japanese player Mikuru Suzuki will make her debut on the world’s biggest stage against England’s James Richardson while Fallon Sherrock will face fellow English player Ted Evetts.
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Van Gerwen’s route
Rarely does Van Gerwen enter matches without being favourite to win, and his route to the quarter-finals should be extremely straight-forward even for his standards.
Perhaps his toughest task before the quarter-finals will be his Dutch rival Klaasen in the first match of his campaign. He is then likely to face Ricky Evans and Stephen Bunting before a potential James Wade meeting in the quarters.