World Championships: O’Sullivan to dish out last-eight beating
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham
Ronnie O’Sullivan has shown no ill-effects after taking a year’s sabbatical from the table and it’d take a brave man to back against him winning his fourth World Championship this year.
A loss in his comeback game against little-known potter Simon Bedford prompted the naysayers to dismiss his credentials for Crucible glory, but he’s responded emphatically by overcoming his first two opponents in snooker’s showpiece event by a combined total of 11 frames.
He embarks upon his quarter-final duel with Stuart Bingham next and, at 1/4, you’ve got to fear for his English adversary.
The Rocket can be backed at 11/10 to advance to the semis with a 4.5-frame handicap applied to his total and, given the imperious nature of his early-doors performances, this doesn’t look a bad bet at all.
The pair have met once on this stage and this handicap punt would have copped on that occasion, while Bingham has done little to trouble O’Sullivan in the five battles the pair have embarked upon, with four falling in Ronnie’s favour.
Ricky Walden v Michael White
Michael White ensured everyone knew he wasn’t at the Crucible for the experience when he destroyed Dechawat Poomjaeng in the previous round, leaving him well-poised to see Ricky Walden off at the last-eight stage next.
Having qualified through two rounds, a quarter-final appearance would have been a long way beyond the Welshman’s expectations for the tournament, but he’s made it nonetheless and, despite an underdog price of 5/4, he can definitely go one better.
Stamina Man isn’t the most formidable of foes off the treadmill and this gives White a big chance.
He hadn’t won a match at the Crucible for three years prior to this season’s instalment of the World Championships so having a flutter on White to win by 1-2 frames looks especially tempting at 11/2.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date