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Crucible set for thrilling World Snooker Championship

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The famous Crucible in Sheffield will again be the host for another enthralling snooker World Championship, as Mark Selby aims to retain his coveted crown

The long awaited return of the World Snooker Championship is now upon us, with the globe’s most prolific potters vying to challenge for the coveted Crucible crown in Sheffield.

Leicester’s Mark Selby will return to the scene of his most famous triumph 13 months ago, when he staged a dramatic fightback to topple five-time Crucible king Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final, and claim his maiden world title.

Despite ‘the Jester from Leicester’ arriving as this year’s reigning champion, it’s ‘the Rocket’ who is the best priced 5/2 favourite with Sky Bet to lift next month’s trophy, having had a recent break from competitive action since his loss to Judd Trump in the Grand Prix final.

‘The Juddernaut’ finally overcame O’Sullivan in a major final, having previously been defeated in both the UK Championship and Champion of Champions final last year, proving he now has the ability and mental strength to do damage to his clinical counterpart.

Bristol-born Trump has struggled to make a genuine impact at the Crucible since his incredible run to the 2010 final, where he was outgunned by experienced Scot John Higgins, despite his ferocious style of play. The young potter is a 13/2 chance with Bet Fred to secure his first ever Crucible crown, having made great progress towards that accolade this season.

Defending champion Selby is an 8/1 shout with Betfair to become just the second player since 1996 to retain his title, with only O’Sullivan having done so in recent years.

Astute Australian cueist Neil Robertson will undoubtedly be a major competitor in Sheffield, as he aims to lift the famous trophy for the second time in his career. The 2010 champion is 13/2 with Sky Bet to double his wins at the Crucible, having sensationally made a century of centuries last season.

Outside the top four favourites, there are plenty of world class potters ready to make their mark, with this year’s Masters champion Shaun Murphy an 11/1 chance with Paddy Power, Northern Irishman Mark Allen a 28/1 shout with Bet Victor, while four-time winner Higgins is always a threat at 28/1 with Bet Fred.

The sell-out Crucible crowd will be hoping to see the one of snooker’s superstars make a magic maximum break, and tournament favourite O’Sullivan looks the best bet to do so, having already knocked in 12 so far in his illustrious career.

‘Rocket’ Ronnie is 6/1 with Sky Bet to please the Sheffield audience with another 147 break during this sensational showpiece event in Yorkshire.

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