PAUL NICHOLSON is relishing his chance to face Michael van Gerwen in the Unibet European Championship.

Former Players Championship Finals winner Nicholson will return to the European Championship for the first time in five years after securing his place in the 32-player field.

A semi-finalist in June's Gibraltar Darts Trophy, Nicholson held on to 32nd place in the European Tour Order of Merit to seal his European Championship spot.

His reward, though, is a tie against top seed Michael van Gerwen, the reigning European Champion and a winner of eight of the 13 European Tour events held during 2018.

Although Van Gerwen is a huge favourite going into that tie, and an odds-on favourite to claim the title, Nicholson insists he is excited about the chance to lock horns with the sport's top star in Dortmund.

"Every time I get into the big tournaments it feels like Michael is waiting for me in the first round, but it's a great opportunity," said Nicholson.

"There's no pressure on me. I've got preparation time - ten days to get myself right and I'm really looking forward to the prospect of playing against Michael, especially when he's in this form.

"I really can't wait."

The Unibet European Championship will be held from October 25-28 at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, and screened live on ITV4 and through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners.

For tickets, please visit the PDC Europe website.

2018 Unibet European Championship
Draw Bracket

(1) Michael van Gerwen v (32) Paul Nicholson
(16) Steve West v (17) Mervyn King
(8) Simon Whitlock v (25) Steve Beaton
(9) Peter Wright v (24) Jermaine Wattimena
(5) Joe Cullen v (28) Jelle Klaasen
(12) Michael Smith v (21) Steve Lennon
(4) Ian White v (29) Richard North
(13) Rob Cross v (20) Danny Noppert
(2) Mensur Suljovic v (31) Cristo Reyes
(15) Darren Webster v (18) Stephen Bunting
(7) Max Hopp v (26) William O'Connor
(10) Jonny Clayton v (23) James Wilson
(6) James Wade v (27) Martin Schindler
(11) Daryl Gurney v (22) Ricky Evans
(3) Gerwyn Price v (30) Kyle Anderson
(14) Adrian Lewis v (19) Dave Chisnall