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Masters Snooker 2016 quarter-finals: Selby meets the Rocket

Lee Gormley | January 13, 2016

Masters Snooker 2016

  • Masters Snooker, quarter-finals
  • Thursday, January 14th
  • Break-offs: 13:00 GMT and 19:00 GMT
  • Alexandra Palace, London
  • Live on BBC Two or Eurosport

Selby squares-off with the Rocket

The Masters 2016 has reached its quarter-final stage and it’s at this crucial point at Alexandra Palace that world number one Mark Selby will collide with Ronnie O’Sullivan in a repeat of the 2014 final.

Snooker - 2014 Coral UK Championship - Day Twelve - Barbican Centre

It was the Rocket who prevailed in the 2014 final match-up to become a five-time Masters champion and he is 13/8 with Coral to dispatch Selby and pot the highest break this time around.

O’Sullivan returned to the green baize to narrowly overcome veteran Welshman Mark Williams recently, in what he described as a lucky escape, but the Jester from Leicester is 11/8 to triumph once again over the Rocket, having done so in the 2014 World Championship final.

Can Selby halt the Rocket taking off?

With O’Sullivan having taken another extended break from the sport last year, the last time these two esteemed champions met was on the Sheffield table in 2014, though it’s the latter who holds a more dominant head-to-head record.

Snooker - Betfred World Championship - Day One - Crucible Theatre

Of the potting pair’s 22 professional clashes, the Rocket has succeeded on 13 occasions to Selby’s eight, but the reigning world number one will take confidence from his previous Crucible coup over his illustrious rival.

The last time the duo met over a best-of-11 encounter was in 2012, when Selby secured a comfortable 6-2 victory during the Welsh Open semi-final. He is 12/1 to emulate that scoreline here, while the Rocket is 6/1 to come through a second successive final frame decider.

Allen aiming to down the Hawk

In Thursday’s evening quarter-final meeting, Northern Ireland cueist Mark Allen will take to the baize against Barry Hawkins, the man who knocked him out of last year’s World Championship at the last 16 stage.

Betway UK Snooker Championship - Day Five - York Barbican

Allen toppled the Hawk in their most recent meeting at the Champion of Champions last year, rattling in an impressive century break in the opening frame, and he is 15/8 to triumph again and pot the highest break.

Although, two-time ranking event winner Hawkins has shown his true grit over the past few seasons, reaching two consecutive Crucible semis and a final, making him 5/4 to emerge victorious in this Masters meeting.

In what could be close encounter between two constant top 16 competitors though, a final frame shootout is 3/1 to occur in the capital, while Allen is 6/1 to edge such a scenario 6-5.

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Coral’s top tip: Back Mark Allen to overcome Barry Hawkins and make the highest break of their match at 15/8.

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