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Nail biting Masters final in store as top two seeds meet

| 18.01.2014

The match the fans, the press and the sponsors all wanted to see will finally take place as the Masters final cues off at Alexandra Palace, with the top two seeds doing battle.

World number one and top seed, Mark Selby, will face pre-tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan in a best of 19-frame final, with Selby looking for his fourth Masters title, at a price of 2/1, and O’Sullivan, who is the 2/5 favourite, hunting his fifth.

After tight matches in the opening two rounds, Selby enjoyed a breezy path into the final with a 6-1 victory over Shaun Murphy in the semi-final, but has generally been made to work much harder in sealing that spot than The Rocket, who dropped just three frames in total on his way to the showpiece match.

A 6-1 win over Robert Milkins in the first round was followed by a whitewash over Ricky Walden and a 6-2 triumph against Stephen Maguire.

That somewhat easier path shouldn’t misguide Ladbrokes customers into thinking that another cakewalk is in store here though, as previous matches between these two have generally been won by the slimmest of margins.

Three of the last five meetings have been decided by just a single frame and that’s a theme that has continued in the finals that they’ve contested.

A tight contest in a final has occurred in three of the last four to contain The Jester from Leicester and O’Sullivan, with both of their previous Masters finals being decided by two frames or less.

It’s therefore a perfect betting strategy to take the 11/2 on offer that Selby wins by one or two frames, or the 7/2 that O’Sullivan triumphs by the same margin, with Selby’s recent run of three wins in the last five meetings suggesting it’ll be him that reigns supreme on this occasion.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.