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We’re down to the last eight in Sheffield.
After 10 days of addictive Crucible action, the quarter-finals await in the race for snooker’s biggest prize.
There are three former world champions left and five players looking to break their Crucible duck.
Let’s take a closer look at the quarter-final action:
Ronnie O’Sullivan -4.5 frames vs Luca Brecel at 11/8 with bet365*
Ronnie O’Sullivan doesn’t look like he’s in the mood to hang around in Sheffield.
He swept aside his new rival Hossein Vafaei with a session to spare in the second round and comes into a quarter-final against a man that has never reached this milestone before.
Luca Brecel was pushed all the way by Ricky Walden and Mark Williams and doesn’t enjoy a good head-to-head record against the “Rocket”.
Brecel is cueing well but has arguably reached his ceiling in Sheffield; the reigning champion is simply playing too well.
We give Ronnie a -4.5 frame handicap here. He is 29-9 in frames so far at the 2023 championship.
Mark Allen vs Jak Jones – Mark Allen under 1.5 match centuries at 11/8 with bet365*
Mark Allen didn’t need to be at his best in trouncing former world champion Stuart Bingham 13-4 in the second round.
Allen’s season on the baize is unrivalled but he is beginning to miss a few easy pots under the pressured lights of the Crucible.
He failed to make a century break in his 13 winning frames against Bingham and we think he’ll perform similarly against Jak Jones. Allen should advance but might have to grind out some frames.
John Higgins vs Mark Selby – Over 23.5 frames at 2/1 with Betvictor*
This could be a classic.
Higgins has lost just five frames so far at this season’s championship showing the form of when he first became world champion in 1998.
He’s middling every pot and has already racked up six centuries in 10 days.
Mark Selby is battling his way into form and is always a danger in Sheffield.
Selby, like Higgins, has four world titles to his name and will be confident in going toe-to-toe in a tactical battle with the Scot.
They are 3-3 in their last six meetings and Higgins leads 3-2 in World Championship meetings dating back to 2005. This one has plenty of frames in it – we’re going over 23.5.
Si Jiahui to beat Anthony McGill at 6/5 with bet365*
20-year-old Si Jiahui is quickly becoming the story of the 2023 World Championships.
The lowly ranked Chinese player is playing with a freedom in Sheffield and has already breezed past Shaun Murphy and Robert Milkins.
He is completely inexperienced in the latter stages of a major tournament, but this could play into his hands as he continues to take risks on the baize.
McGill has been here before – he is a former 3x quarter-finalist here – but we’re edging youth over experience in a mini-upset.
*Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
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