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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jackson Page: Prediction, tips, odds and start time

Ronnie O'Sullivan begins his 2024 World Championship campaign as a strong favourite to claim his eighth Crucible crown and few will expect him to struggle in his opening-round clash with the inexperienced Jackson Page.

Along with Judd Trump, the Rocket has been one of players of the season and he heads to Sheffield bidding to join Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in winning the three Triple Crown events in a single season.

O'Sullivan's victories at the Masters and the UK Championship show him to be operating at the peak of his powers, which means he has won five titles this season. It's also worth noting that he's only lost in the opening round of the World Championship once since 2003.

Welsh youngster Page is a precocious talent and the 22-year-old is featuring at the World Championship for just the second time, having defeated Barry Hawkins 10-7 in the first round two years ago.

But this is a different kettle of fish against the Rocket, who should put his experience to good use and record a commanding victory.

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jackson Page

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jackson Page betting tips and predictions

Ronnie O'Sullivan -4.5 frames on the handicap - 10/11

Ronnie O'Sullivan was made to work hard in his opening-round clash last year, with his young Chinese opponent Pang Junxu showing serious promise in a 10-7 defeat.

Despite Page being another potential star of the future, the Rocket is taken to run out an even more convincing winner this time around.

Page showed a serious bottle to come through qualifying, edging past Noppon Saengkham 10-9 in a thrilling final-frame decider. However, that win featured only two breaks higher than 56 and he will need to score much heavier to stay competitive here.

The Welshman has tasted a first-round victory at the Crucible, having defeated Hawkins 10-7 two years ago, but that did come at a time when the Hawk was struggling, and he was then blown away 13-3 by mentor Mark Williams in round two.

If Page doesn't get an early frame on the board then this could get ugly and backing O'Sullivan -4.5 frames on the handicap at 10/11 looks to be a pretty solid wager.

The 22-year-old likes to play attacking shots and get the balls open at every opportunity, but that sort of contest is only going to play to the Rocket's strengths.

These two have met twice in the past. A 6-3 win for O'Sullivan at the 2017 UK Championship can be overlooked as Page was only a teenager but the 4-1 success at this season's English Open may be a bit more telling, especially with the longer format going to strongly favour the seven-time champion.

Over 3.5 centuries - 5/4

Despite Ronnie being expected to put up a strong showing and record an emphatic success, an interest can still be had in over 3.5 centuries.

Page showed on his run to a maiden ranking event semi-final in the World Open at the end of March that his great strength is his break-building ability and he has had centuries across his seven matches, which included three in a 5-2 victory over Mark Selby and one in a 5-3 win over John Higgins.

The Blaenau Gwent resident had three more century breaks across his two World Championship qualifying wins, two coming against Graeme Dott and the other being posted in the deciding frame success against Saengkham.

That highlights the dangers he possesses, and in what should be a free-flowing encounter, he should be capable of registering another ton.

With Ronnie expected to be in serene order, as he has been all season, he is capable of bolstering a tally that has already seen him make 58 centuries this campaign.

So, with that in mind, going over 3.5 centuries at 5/4 could be a way for punters to turn a profit.

When these two locked horns in the English Open in October, the Rocket blasted his way to a 4-1 success, posting breaks of 122, 109 and 105, while Page got on the board with a 109 break of his own.

Read more snooker betting tips and predictions on site

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jackson Page odds

Ronnie O'Sullivan - 1/8
Jackson Page - 

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

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jackson Page start time

This first round clash is due to get underway at 14:30 BST on Wednesday 24th April. The match will conclude with the second session taking place at 13:00 BST on Thursday 25th April.

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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