The 2014 World Snooker Championships are at the Quarter final stage, with Ronnie O’Sullivan Odds on favourite to win for the third year in succession. Each Quarter final is previewed here
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Shaun Murphy
Having struggled in the first two sessions of his Joe Perry match, Rnnie turned it on in the final session to progress. If he is near his best he will, as Murphy admits, win the Quarter final, he is simply that good and is 1/4 outright to do so.
Murphy beat Marco Fu more comfortably than I expected in the second round after struggling through in the first round. A heavy scorer on his best form, he still appears a way off that so far this tournament and with Ronnie now appearing in the groove Ronnie O’Sullivan -4.5 frames on the Handicap (a win of 13-8 or better) with Coral at 19/20 appears the most reasonable expectation
Barry Hawkins v Dominic Dale
Hawkins was unconvincing for much of his game against Walden but raised his standard when it was required. The draw opened up nicely for Dale at the Crucible, playing an out of form seed first up and seeing potential second round opponent Ding Junhui beaten before he had to meet him.
Hawkins is a 1/3 favourite for the game, as befitting last year’s finalist and a top eight ranked player. If there is to be an upset in the four games though, this could be the one, and I will chance a small bet on Dale at 5/2 with SkyBet here. Fresh, untroubled so far, a relaxed character, he should give Hawkins a far closer run that that price suggests
Mark Selby v Alan McManus
Selby was impressive in beating Ali Carter 13-7, tough match-play, convincing break-building and an overwhelming favourite to beat veteran McManus who beat a desperately poor Dherty in the last round. On all we know about McManus’s style he shouldn’t score heavily enough consistently to trouble Selby, whilst Selby should give as good as he gets in the safety exchances, where McManus normally has the advantage.
With little mileage in Selby at 1-7 outright, and the strong possibility this could be one sided, Selby -5.5 frames at Evens with Paddy Power for me
Neil Robertson v Judd Trump
The real marquee tie of the round, playing out as seeded in the draw as two fantastic break builders square off. World Number One Robertson was quite sensational in the latter stages of his victory over Mark Allen and is deservedly a 4/7 fasvourite to progress
Trump is the match for anyone when it comes to scoring, but his all-round game, on the evidence of the first two games, is currently a notch below Robertson’s when it comes to tablecraft, safety and matchplay. It could be a classic though and handicap quotes of Robertson -2.5 frames suggest as much. Really, one to savour.
With two fantastic break builders and Robertson having scored 8 centuries in the tournament already, quotes of 11/8 with Skybet on over 4.5 centures over a possible 25 frames is the bet