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Rocket looks to retain Champion of Champions title against Trump

Although Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump have shared the honours from a dozen previous competitive meetings, the Rocket came out on top in their last encounter at the World Championships in 2013.

Coral stand by the artistry and experience of green baize genius O’Sullivan, making him a strong odds-on 2/5 favourite to retain the Champion of Champions Snooker title because the final is over a format of more frames. That Crucible semi-final apart, the other 11 battles between Rocket Ronnie and Trump, a 15/8 outsider to claim this crown, have been the first to six or less.

The Ricoh Arena in Coventry hosts this tasty tour event following a lengthy stint in China for snooker stars. It’s the best of 19 (the first to 10) across two sessions, and the two men cueing for glory have practically posted identical results en route to setting up this battle.

O’Sullivan whitewashed Marco Fu 6-0 in the quarter-finals and continued his awesome head-to-head record against Chinese sensation Ding Junhui in the semis. Bristol native Trump’s own progress is equally impressive, however, having seen off reigning world champion Mark Selby 6-1 and then edging ‘the Thunder from Down Under’ Neil Robertson, another Crucible king, thereafter.

Regular Coral punters on snooker will know we take no chances regarding the Rocket. Even with a handicap of 2.5 frames, he remains odds-on at 17/20 to keep hold of the Champion of Champions crown.

O’Sullivan is odds-on in many markets, but one that gives customers some decent value is the Frames 1-4 winner, where he is 5/4. This tournament, meanwhile, is not noted for going the distance, so be wary of the seductive 24/5 price on a deciding frame.

Trump’s time in China was particularly fruitless, being knocked out in the opening rounds of both the Shanghai Masters and the International Championship. That poor form in the Far East only solidifies the Rocket’s status as a worthy favourite, and suggests if there’s any Naughty Snooker to be played then it’ll be by him.