Phil Taylor set to defend European title in Dusseldorf

Phil Taylor
Taylor beat Wayne Jones to win the European Championship title in 2010

World number one Phil Taylor begins the defence of his European Championship title against Greek qualifier John Michael in Dusseldorf this week.

The 50-year-old's first round match comes four days after he retained his World Matchplay crown in Blackpool.

"I was delighted to win the World Matchplay and my target now is to keep hold of the European Championship title too," said Taylor, from Stoke-on-Trent.

"I've seen John play a couple of times and he's a good player."

Taylor has never been beaten at the European Championships and is a three-time winner of the event.

He defeated Wolverhampton's Wayne Jones 11-1 in the 2010 final.

Simon Whitlock, Gary Anderson, Terry Jenkins and Paul Nicholson are among those playing their first-round matches on Thursday, while world champion Adrian Lewis and World Matchplay semi-finalist Andy Hamilton have to wait until Friday evening to get their campaigns under way.

The final takes place on Sunday evening, with 32 players competing for a first prize of £50,000.