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Mark Selby v Ronnie O'Sullivan: Tips, Predictions and Odds

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby have won 11 World Championship crowns between them and the star-studded duo will renew their rivalry in a blockbuster Players Championship quarter-final on Thursday evening.

Remarkably, it will be only their second meeting in a ranking event since O'Sullivan edged past Selby 17-16 in a nail-biting World Championship semi-final in 2020.

Their most recent encounter at the Shanghai Masters semi-final in September also went the Rocket’s way as he triumphed 10-7 before going on to take the title with an equally impressive victory over Luca Brecel.

Both players ran out convincing winners in their first-round tussles as O'Sullivan blasted his way past Zhou Yuelong in a 6-2 win while Selby reeled off five of the final six frames to overcome Barry Hawkins 6-3.

Mark Selby v Ronnie O'Sullivan betting tips and predictions

Ronnie O’Sullivan -1.5 frames on handicap - 4/6

Even when below his best this season, O’Sullivan has made it a habit of winning and, not only did he add his eighth UK Championship crown in December, but he has since claimed his eighth Masters title and a third World Grand Prix victory too.

The Rocket opted to skip events at the German Masters and the Welsh Open following his success at the World Grand Prix, where he toppled Judd Trump 10-7 to claim top honours at the end of January.

It was unknown what form O’Sullivan would return in having had nearly four weeks without competitive action before his match with Yuelong, but it was normal service resumed for him in a resounding 6-2 win.

Despite the layoff, the 48-year-old looked sharp and made breaks of 136, 73 and 62 and, while more may be needed against Selby, he is expected to overcome the challenge.

O’Sullivan’s blase attitude seems to be taking all the pressure away and he goes into this match on an 11-game winning streak, hoping to make it three titles on the spin.

The Rocket won’t be too fazed by head-to-head records but he has won 21 of his 33 previous meetings with Selby, which includes four of their last five rivalries.

Selby showed glimpses of what he is capable of in his 6-3 win over Hawkins on Tuesday, coming from 3-2 down with consecutive breaks of 56, 66, 75 and 67.

However, you’d be pushed to say he is operating anywhere near his best, having lost 4-2 to Aaron Hill in the opening round of the Welsh Open last week.

Selby has had a consistent season but has failed to reach a ranking event semi-final since finishing runner-up at the British Open in October.

The Jester from Leicester also has a poor record at the Players Championship, with him failing to go beyond the quarter-final stage in any of his last ten tournament appearances.

So the Rocket can win and the Rocket can win well, with odds of 4/6 about him successfully overcoming a handicap start of 1.5 frames the approach to take.

Under 1.5 centuries - 6/4

It could pay to go against the tide in the century markets and backing under 1.5 may represent the value at 6/4.

O’Sullivan is fancied to win this contest a shade comfortably and Selby knows his best chance of causing the upset will be turn frames long and tactical.

Going toe-to-toe with the Rocket in this form would see Selby blown away and his opening-round win over Hawkins didn’t feature a single century break despite it lasting a total of nine frames.

O’Sullivan, meanwhile, registered only one century in his 6-2 success over Yuelong and there is nothing to say that this quarter-final clash will last much longer than that.

Read more snooker betting tips and predictions on site.

Mark Selby v Ronnie O'Sullivan odds

O’Sullivan is 4/9 to maintain his recent dominance over Selby, who is 7/4 to make what would be only his second ever Players Championship semi-final appearance.

O’Sullivan is 4/6 -1.5 frames on the handicap, with Selby 11/10 with a +1.5-frame start, while it is 11/10 for the contest to go over 9.5 frames.

Having had a 136 break in his first-round victory over Yuelong, the Rocket is 4/7 to register the highest break, with Selby a 5/4 chance.

With Trump having suffered an early exit to Ali Carter, the Rocket is tournament favourite at 11/8 to be crowned champion while Selby is 7/1 to go all the way.

View the full market and more odds for Mark Selby v Ronnie O'Sullivan on site.

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