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World Snooker Championship quarter-finals: Murphy meets McGill

Reigning Masters Snooker champion Shaun Murphy (5/1 with Coral to win a second World Championship) would not have expected to encounter Scotland’s Anthony McGill in the Crucible quarter-final.

Yet, the Glasgow native followed up a giant-killing of compatriot Stephen Maguire with an even more shocking scalp, demolishing defending world champion Mark Selby 13-9 in the second round.

McGill, who has shown a license to thrill in Sheffield during the first 10 days of this year’s global championship, has never beaten Rotherham native Murphy in three previous attempts.

‘The Magician’ should hold no fear for the Scottish potter, however, after his previous exploits of eliminating top seeds, and odds of 3/1 say McGill can add Murphy to his hit-list.

Previous victim Selby has tipped world number 32 McGill to go all the way. “I said to him that if he plays like that there’s no reason why he can’t win it,” said Selby following his exit.

McGill is looking to follow in last eight opponent Murphy’s footsteps by becoming the first qualifier since him to lift the Crucible crown. At 20/1 to scoop the World Championship, he is more fancied than former finalist Barry Hawkins in the outright betting.

There is no getting away from the fact that Maguire and Selby exhibited shaky form, and Murphy is made of much sterner stuff. That is evidenced by his 100 per cent record when previously playing McGill, and that is why the Magician is a strong odds-on 1/4 match favourite to win their first to 13 frames encounter.

Crushing Robin Hill (10-3) and Joe Perry (13-5) in a rapid run to the quarter-finals, Murphy has led 3-1 after the opening four frames of both his Crucible clashes so far. To repeat that scoreline in the first mini-session, he is a 9/5 chance.

The potential is definitely there for this to go the distance, which would mean 25 frames. Odds of 7/1 say plucky McGill can take established opponent Murphy all the way to a deciding frame.