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John Higgins v Mark Allen: Prediction, Tips, Odds and Start Time

John Higgins and Mark Allen will both believe they can make it through to this year's World Snooker Championship final, but the dream will end for one of them when they meet in the second round.

The draw has arguably been kind to these two players, with Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump on the other side of the draw, while defending champion and top seed Luca Brecel was knocked out in the first round.

That leaves fourth-seed Allen as the highest-ranked player left in the top half of the draw, while Higgins and Shaun Murphy are the only players in the section to have previously lifted the Crucible crown.

This heavyweight contest, played over the best-of-25 frames, will get underway on Saturday afternoon with Higgins priced at 11/8 to progress through to the quarter-finals for the 18th time in his Crucible career, while Allen is 4/7.

John Higgins v Mark Allen

John Higgins v Mark Allen betting tips and predictions

Over 22.5 frames in the match - 1/1

This is perhaps the standout contest of the second round at this year's World Championship, with four-time winner Higgins taking on Allen, who is one of the best players never to have experienced Crucible glory.

Allen has already completed two thirds of snooker's Triple Crown, triumphing at the Masters in 2018 and the UK Championship four years later, but his record in the sport's greatest tournament has been generally poor.

Only twice before has the Northern Irishman made it to the one-table format at the Crucible, losing to Higgins 17-13 in the 2009 semi-finals before going down to Mark Selby 17-15 in the last four 12 months ago.

Last season's run to the semi-finals will have given Allen confidence that he can go all the way at the Worlds this year, as will his three tournament successes this season at the Champion of Champions, Shoot Out and most recently the Players Championship.

However, he was not at his best when seeing off Robbie Williams 10-6 in round one and he will likely need to go up a few gears if he is to get the better of Crucible specialist Higgins.

Higgins has reached eight World Championship finals and although the last of his four titles now came 13 years ago, he has shown he can still compete at the highest level by reaching the quarters and semis in the last two years.

It has now been over three years since the Wizard of Wishaw last won a ranking title - the 2021 Players Championship - but he has reached four ranking semi-finals this season, including at the Welsh Open in February where he beat Allen en route to the last four.

These two players have certainly been familiar foes this season, as this will be their sixth meeting of the campaign, with Allen having won three of the previous five, including a 10-7 success at this month's Tour Championship.

That result, coupled with Allen's 6-5 win when they locked horns at the Masters in January, underlines there is not much to separate these two players, especially over an extended format like at the Worlds.

Their two previous encounters at the Crucible - Higgins’ 17-13 success in the 2009 semis and his 13-9 win at the last-16 stage in 2017 - further underline that this contest could be a lengthy one.

While picking a winner is not easy, backing over 22.5 frames in the contest at 1/1 could be where the value lies.

Over 3.5 match centuries - 10/11

Neither of these players were at their best during the first round and that was underlined by a lack of century breaks from both.  

Allen's only knock of over 100 came in the final frame of his victory over Williams, while Higgins did not register one in getting past Jamie Jones 10-6.

However, this clash will require both players to step up in quality and that should mean a rise in the number of century breaks, with at least four being registered in the match available to back at 10/11.

In their five previous meetings this season there has been at least one century break and all of those contests have been played over a much shorter format than this best-of-25 frame contest.

The only contest that came close to matching this format was Allen's 10-7 win at the Tour Championship at the start of the month, a match in which three centuries were registered.

With this expected to go deep into its third session, it does not feel like a great stretch to suggest that at least four century breaks will be made, especially as both players sit high on the list of most centuries produced this season.

Allen is sixth on that list with 46 centuries made, while Higgins sits two places higher with 52 - only Judd Trump, Kyren Wilson and Ronnie O'Sullivan have registered more.

O'Sullivan is also the only player in history to have produced more century breaks than Higgins, with the Wizard of Wishaw currently on 983 and fast closing in on the 1000 mark.

Allen also sits in the top 10 on the all-time list and both players will expect to add to their tallies during this second-round contest.

Read more snooker betting tips and predictions on site

John Higgins v Mark Allen odds

John Higgins - 11/8
Mark Allen -

View the full market and more odds for John Higgins v Mark Allen on site

John Higgins v Mark Allen start time

This second-round contest will get underway at 14:30 on Saturday 26th April and will potentially be played over three sessions.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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