PHIL TAYLOR will begin the defence of his European Championship title against Co Stompe in Germany next month.

The third staging of the European Championship will be held at the StadtHalle in Dinslaken, Germany from Thursday July 29 to Sunday August 1.

Taylor, who has won the two previous European Championships, has been draw against Stompe for the first round of the event, which will be shown live in the UK on Bravo and in Germany on Sport1.

World number two Raymond van Barneveld will open up against Andy Hamilton, while James Wade drew Colin Lloyd.

Jelle Klaasen and Vincent van der Voort will meet in round one for the second successive year after being paired in the draw, while Michael van Gerwen will meet Germany's Tomas Seyler - although the Dutch youngster is still recovering from a broken collarbone sustained last week.

The other two Germans in the field, Andree Welge and debutant Bernd Roith, drew Terry Jenkins and Denis Ovens respectively, while Spanish newcomer Antonio Alcinas faces number eight seed Mark Walsh.

Australian star Simon Whitlock will meet Dennis Priestley, Colin Osborne drew Wes Newton, Paul Nicholson takes on Andy Smith and Mervyn King faces Barrie Bates.

Gary Anderson, who was on the receiving end of a 118 average from Taylor in last year's European Championship in Holland, drew Jamie Caven, with Ronnie Baxter meeting Alan Tabern and Mark Dudbridge facing Robert Thornton.

Adrian Lewis, who was the runner-up to Taylor in the inaugural European Championship in Frankfurt two years ago, will meet Wayne Jones in their opener. European Championship Draw
Phil Taylor (1) v Co Stompe
Paul Nicholson v Andy Smith
Mark Walsh (8) v Antonio Alcinas
Jelle Klaasen v Vincent van der Voort
Terry Jenkins (5) v Andree Welge
Simon Whitlock v Dennis Priestley
Mervyn King (4) v Barrie Bates
Gary Anderson v Jamie Caven
Raymond van Barneveld (2) v Andy Hamilton
Bernd Roith v Denis Ovens
Adrian Lewis (7) v Wayne Jones
Mark Dudbridge v Robert Thornton
James Wade (3) v Colin Lloyd
Tomas Seyler v Michael van Gerwen
Ronnie Baxter (6) v Alan Tabern
Colin Osborne v Wes Newton

The schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.

The draw was made by PDC Director and Sky Sports expert Rod Harrington in Las Vegas ahead of the North American Darts Championship.

First Round - Best of 11 legs
Second Round - Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 21 legs
Final - Best of 21 legs