LUKE 'The Nuke' Littler has learned his first opponent and the route he will take if he is to have a successful run in the Blåkläder Belgian Darts Open which starts tomorrow.

The grind of competition at elite level is now becoming clear for the Warrington 17-year-old, who is in action in Brighton tonight for Premier Darts League Night 6 and then needs to be in Wieze - about 40km north west of Brussels - for Friday's afternoon session.

The draw and schedule for the opening PDC European Tour event of 2024, which continues on Saturday and concludes on Sunday, is now confirmed, with Littler having qualified in Wigan on February 14.

There, 'The Nuke' overcame Radek Szaganski, Mervyn King and Maik Kuivenhoven to book his ticket to Belgium.

The Oktoberhallen in Wieze will play host to the latest staging of this event as 48 players battle it out for the £30,000 top prize and the first European Tour title of the year.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will be among the headline acts this weekend, with world number one Luke Humphries and teenage superstar Littler also set to be star attractions.

Friday’s first round will feature 16 matches across two sessions, as Littler makes his highly-anticipated European Tour debut against former Grand Slam champion Jose de Sousa.

Belgian number one Dimitri Van den Bergh - fresh from lifting the UK Open title on Sunday - will make his return to home soil with a fascinating showdown against Masters champion Stephen Bunting, as the two most recent TV title winners collide.

Ten-time TV title winner James Wade and five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld go head-to-head in another blockbuster showdown, with World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall up against Richard Veenstra.

Two-time World Champion Wright will take on a Host Nation Qualifier in his opener, with former Masters champions Chris Dobey and Joe Cullen pitted against Romeo Grbavac and Martin Schindler respectively.

2023 UK Open champion Andrew Gilding meets Ryan Joyce for a place in Saturday's second round, while in-form Belgian Mike De Decker will aim to delight his home crowd when he faces European Tour debutant Chris Landman.

The top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit will enter the fray in Saturday's second round, with Van Gerwen and European Champion Peter Wright on a potential collision course at the Oktoberhallen.

Littler will take on Poland's number one Krzysztof Ratajski if he overcomes De Sousa on debut.

Humphries faces either Wade or Van Barneveld in his opener, as top seed Dave Chisnall kicks off his campaign against Joyce or Gilding.

Gerwyn Price could mark his return to European Tour action against Germany's number one Gabriel Clemens.

UK Open semi-finalist Damon Heta opens his challenge against Brendan Dolan or a Host Nation Qualifier, after Cullen and Schindler lock horns for the right to play Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Sixth seed Josh Rock will meet the winner of the tie between home hero Van den Bergh and Bunting, as 2023 World Champion Michael Smith prepares to take on De Decker or Landman for a last 16 berth.

Two-time European Champion Rob Cross has been handed a second round tie against Lukas Wenig or a Belgian qualifier, while an in-form Ryan Searle could face world number four Aspinall at the same stage.

Elsewhere, fresh from a terrific start to 2024, Gary Anderson will get his European Tour campaign underway against World Youth Championship runner-up Gian van Veen or Sweden’s Andreas Harrysson.

Following Saturday’s second round, the last 16 will take place on Sunday afternoon, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

Live coverage of all 2024 European Tour events will be streamed through Viaplay, and through DAZN for viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Coverage will also be shown on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers worldwide.

2024 Blåkläder Belgian Darts Open, Oktoberhallen, Wieze, March 8-10, Tournament draw bracket, second round onwards:

(1) Dave Chisnall v Ryan Joyce/Andrew Gilding

(2) Luke Humphries v James Wade/Raymond van Barneveld

(3) Gerwyn Price v Host Nation Qualifier 3/Gabriel Clemens

(4) Damon Heta v Brendan Dolan/Host Nation Qualifier 4

(5) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Martin Schindler/Joe Cullen

(6) Josh Rock v Dimitri Van den Bergh/Stephen Bunting

(7) Rob Cross v Lukas Wenig/Host Nation Qualifier 2

(8) Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright/Host Nation Qualifier 1

(9) Jonny Clayton v Berry van Peer/Daniel Klose

(10) Danny Noppert v Chris Dobey/Romeo Grbavac

(11) Michael Smith v Mike De Decker/Chris Landman

(12) Ross Smith v Daryl Gurney/Jermaine Wattimena

(13) Krzysztof Ratajski v Luke Littler/Jose de Sousa

(14) Gary Anderson v Andreas Harrysson/Gian van Veen

(15) Ryan Searle v Nathan Aspinall/Richard Veenstra

(16) Ricardo Pietreczko v Luke Woodhouse/James Hurrell

2024 Blåkläder Belgian Darts Open Schedule of Play:

First round, afternoon session, Friday, March 8, noon:

Berry van Peer v Daniel Klose

Ryan Joyce v Andrew Gilding

Lukas Wenig v Host Nation Qualifier 2

Daryl Gurney v Jermaine Wattimena

Luke Woodhouse v James Hurrell

Brendan Dolan v Host Nation Qualifier 4

Chris Dobey v Romeo Grbavac

Andreas Harrysson v Gian van Veen

First round, evening session, Friday, March 8, 6pm:

Mike De Decker v Chris Landman

Martin Schindler v Joe Cullen

Host Nation Qualifier 3 v Gabriel Clemens

Luke Littler v Jose de Sousa

Peter Wright v Host Nation Qualifier 1

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting

Nathan Aspinall v Richard Veenstra

Second round, afternoon session, Saturday, March 9, noon:

Ricardo Pietreczko v Woodhouse/Hurrell

Ross Smith v Gurney/Wattimena

Jonny Clayton v Van Peer/Klose

Damon Heta v Dolan/HNQ4

Ryan Searle v Aspinall/Veenstra

Danny Noppert v Dobey/Grbavac

Gary Anderson v Harrysson/Van Veen

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Schindler/Cullen

Second round, evening session, Saturday, March 9, 6pm:

Dave Chisnall v Joyce/Gilding

Michael Smith v De Decker/Landman

Gerwyn Price v HNQ3/Clemens

Michael van Gerwen v Wright/HNQ1

Krzysztof Ratajski v Littler/De Sousa

Luke Humphries v Wade/Van Barneveld

Josh Rock v Van den Bergh/Bunting

Rob Cross v Wenig/HNQ2

Third round (last 16), afternoon session, Sunday, March 10, noon:

Games TBC in draw bracket order

Quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, evening session, Sunday, March 10, 6pm:

Games TBC in draw bracket order