Players Championship draw
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Players Championship Draw and Preview

The action returns to England this week with the 2019 Players Championship draw boasting a high-quality 16-man field in Preston.

The Guild Hall, a scene of so many moments of elation and despair in the sport down through the years, will stage the lucrative ranking event from Monday evening.

Mark Allen is the top seed for the second leg of the inaugural Coral Cup, which features players from the one-year rankings list.

The Northern Irishman has accumulated the most earnings from ranking events so far this season with more than £350,000 in his back pocket.

Allen, who meets Stephen Maguire in the first round on the opening night, captured the International Championship and Scottish Open titles earlier in the campaign.

Only three members of the current top 16 in the official world rankings failed to qualify for the Players Championship draw.

Ding Junhui, Shaun Murphy, and Luca Brecel miss out after experiencing disappointing seasons up until this point.

The likes of defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, world number one Mark Selby, and the in-form Judd Trump will all be chasing the £125,000 top prize, though.

Trump won the first tournament of the Coral Cup series a few weeks ago when he beat Ali Carter to claim the World Grand Prix trophy.

Should the 29 year-old emerge victorious in both of the other Coral Cup competitions – including the eight-man Tour Championship later in March – he would receive an additional bonus worth £125,000.

Trump faces European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson in the opening round.

O’Sullivan and Selby, meanwhile, are in the same quarter of the draw and could face each other in the second round if they first overcome their initial challenges of Barry Hawkins and John Higgins respectively.

Carter’s reward for reaching the final in Cheltenham was a berth in this tournament and the “Captain” will face world champion Mark Williams in the last 16.

Kyren Wilson entertains Jack Lisowski, Neil Robertson plays close friend Joe Perry, and Stuart Bingham battles with David Gilbert in the other fixtures.

All of the matches are the best of 11 frames until the final, which takes place over the longer best of 19 frames.

Live coverage is on ITV 4 and Eurosport (outside UK and Ire)

2019 Players Championship Draw (Last 16)

Mark Allen (1) vs Stephen Maguire (16)
David Gilbert (8) vs Stuart Bingham (9)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) vs Barry Hawkins (12)
Mark Selby (4) vs John Higgins (13)

Neil Robertson (3) vs Joe Perry (14)
Mark Williams (6) vs Ali Carter (11)
Kyren Wilson (7) vs Jack Lisowski (10)
Judd Trump (2) vs Jimmy Robertson (15)

Click here for the full draw and schedule. (Times: CET)

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