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World Snooker Championship Qualifiers: Predictions, Tips and Odds

The battle to join the 16 seeds at the Crucible for the 2024 World Snooker Championships is underway in Sheffield, with 11 days of pulsating action set to determine the final Crucible 32-player field.

World Championship Qualifying

World Championship Qualifying Tips and Predictions

Xiao Guodong to win section 15 @ 7/4
Jackson Page to win Section 12 @ 12/5
Jamie Clarke to win Section 5 @ 8/1

Xiao Guodong to win section @ 7/4 

Xiao Guodong is bidding to make his World Championship return following a six-year absence but this looks a gilt-edged opportunity with top seed in the section Dave Gilbert struggling so badly.

The Chinese cueman has to win only two matches to reach the Crucible and his opening match against Liam Pullen, Anton Kazakov or Sanderson Lam should be relatively straightforward.

Gilbert is his most likely opponent in his winner-takes-all encounter but has lost eight of his 15 matches this year and the one-time world number 10 is now at world number 31, highlighting his drastic decline.

Guodong, meanwhile, was a semi-finalist of the British Open earlier in the campaign and he is a classy customer when it all comes together.

Jackson Page to win Section 12 @ 12/5

Jackson Page made his Crucible debut two years ago when he toppled Barry Hawkins 10-7 in the opening round before being taught a lesson by his mentor Mark Williams.

Page has not kicked on as many anticipated on the back of that but he is still only 22 years of age and there is every opportunity he gets another shot at the big stage this year.

The Welshman has things tough, likely to open up against 2006 world champion Graeme Dott before a Judgement Day encounter with Noppon Saengkham.

However, recent performances at the World Open suggests Page has been putting in the hard graft and his scoring power makes him a formidable opponent for anybody at this stage of competition.

Page reached the semi-final of that ranking event in China at the end of March, being halted by Judd Trump, but only after he had defeated John Higgins, Wu Yize, Mark Selby and Elliott Slessor.

That is a fine achievement for one so young and across those four wins he racked up six centuries, three of which came in a row in an impressive 5-2 silencing of Selby.

Jamie Clarke to win Section 5 @ 8/1

Those looking for a big-priced interest could do worse than pin their hopes to Jamie Clarke, who has twice come through qualifying to secure his place at the Crucible. 

In 2020, the Welshman defeated Joe Perry and Sunny Akani to reach the main draw before upsetting Mark Allen 10-8 in the first-round proper.

Clarke was beaten 13-12 by eventual semi-finalist Anthony McGill in his next game but he reproduced the qualifying heroics in 2022, recording victories over Si Jiahui, Gary Wilson and Graeme Dott to celebrate his Crucible return.

He was no match for Zhao Xintong in the opening round on that occasion and qualifying went poorly last season, but there are reasons to be optimistic on this occasion.

Clarke has had a stop-start campaign but it is proven that this is the time in the year when he comes good and, to his credit, he did also come through the tiered qualifying system at the UK Championship in November.

The world number 53 claimed the scalps of Jordan Brown and Dave Gilbert before upsetting the then eighth seed Kyren Wilson in the opening round, showing his bottle for the big occasion.

He has it tough as he has to win three matches, two of which are against compatriot Jak Jones and talented Chinese cueman Zhou Yuelong, but it won’t be for the want of trying or down to his lack of temperament. All of which make quotes of 8/1 look rather big.

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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