We take an early look at the 10 players at the top of the outright winner market for the 2024 World Snooker Championship.
The outright favourite to win the title as he goes in search of a record eighth Crucible crown, Ronnie O’Sullivan is commonly regarded as the most talented player in the sport’s history.
His triumph in 2022 in Sheffield tied Stephen Hendry’s modern-day world championship record of seven, and despite his absence from the latter stages of the 2023 staging of the competition, he already appears to be the man to beat in 2024.
O’Sullivan has claimed a total of 21 Triple Crown titles throughout his illustrious career, including a record seven UK championships and the same number of Masters titles, whilst he became the first player in history to notch 1,000 century breaks a couple of years ago too.
Another player who never quite found his stride in Sheffield in 2023, being comprehensively beaten by qualifier Anthony McGill in the first round.
Many had expected the Juggernaut to go deep in Sheffield despite enduring a frustrating run of form on the tour in the build-up to the competition.
His Crucible triumph in 2019 ignited a serious hot streak as he brushed aside everyone in his path as he elevated himself into the world number one position. After a dry spell, Trump has now won back-to-back tournaments at the English Open and Wuhan Open to give himself plenty of belief ahead of the 2024 World Snooker Championship.
Those wins have once again proved that Trump remains one of the most talented players on the planet, and if he can maintain this form, he could be set up perfectly for a crack at the big one next April.
Despite a spirited fightback in his enthralling final with Luca Brecel in May, it wasn't to be a fifth world crown for the Jester from Leicester.
The former world number one endured a challenging period on and off the table in the 12 months leading into the World Snooker Championship, but managed to peak at just the right time as he followed his WST Classic success up with a sixth appearance in the showpiece Crucible final.
He notched his maiden World Championship 147 in the second session as he fought back heroically, and although he again pegged Brecel back to 15-16 from 10-16, it was the Belgian who managed to hold his nerve and land the coveted title.
Selby should be a strong contender in 12 months time though, and his short-price are a true reflection of the qualities he possesses on the baize, especially in the tournament that matters the most.
2022/23 proved one of the most underwhelming campaigns in Neil Robertson's professional career as he ended the season trophy-less for the first time in over a decade.
The Australian is undoubtedly one of the most naturally talented and feared players on the circuit, but has struggled for consistency over the past 12 months - failing to reach a solitary final despite reaching the last four on five occasions.
He does boast winning pedigree in Sheffield however, becoming the first Australian to taste World Snooker Championship success in 2010, although he has surprisingly only been past the quarter-final stages once since then.
That said, you’d be a fool to write off the Aussie from bouncing back to winning ways after falling victim to qualifier Jak Jones in the second round of the 2023 event.
The Belgian Bullet made a mockery of his pre-tournament 33/1 odds in 2023, as he became the first player from mainland Europe to win the World Snooker Championship.
With his ultra-attacking and carefree approach to the game, Brecel stormed to victory in the showpiece final against serial winner Selby to write his name into the snooker history books.
Having edged past Ricky Walden in a tense and dramatic final frame decider in the first round, the youngster then stopped both Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan in their tracks, before ending the hopes of Chinese sensation Si Jiahui in the semi-finals.
Despite being pegged back on a couple of occasions by the granite Selby in the Crucible final, two sublime breaks in the final two frames claimed him the title of world champion for the first time, and a £500,000 cheque that propelled him into the world top four for the first time.
He will return to the iconic venue in 2024 to kick-off the opening day's play as he bids to successfully defend his new crown.
The very fact that Shaun Murphy was reportedly contemplating retirement earlier this year tells you all you need to know about the trials and tribulations of life on tour.
The 40-year-old was struggling for form and consistency to such an extent that he has recently revealed that he was deliberating retirement from the game during the winter months.
However, after seeing shoots of progress at the UK Championship in December, Murphy returned to the Crucible in 2023 in great spirits after landing his first major ranking success in over three years at the Players Championship in February.
Despite that wave of optimism however, he subsequently fell at the first hurdle as Chinese sensation Si Jiahui put pay to his hopes of a second world title in the first round - although, he will be back with a vengeance in 2024, eager to bounce back from that disappointment.
The Wizard of Wishaw needs absolutely no introduction after establishing himself as a household snooker name during the mid to late 1990s.
One of the most successful players to have ever partaken in the sport, the Scotsman boasts 31 career ranking titles, placing him third in the all-time list behind Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry.
Since turning professional in 1992, along with O’Sullivan and fellow countryman Hendry, Higgins has scooped four world championships, three UK Championships and two Masters titles, whilst compiling over 900 century breaks.
Despite being in the twilight years of his career, Higgins managed to reach the last four in 2022, and despite being beaten by Mark Selby in the quarter-finals 12 months later, he remains a formidable force as attentions turn towards the 2024 competition.
Mark Allen reached the one table set-up at the Crucible for the first time at the 2023 World Snooker Championship, and will be desperate to go deep once more in 2024.
The new-look slim-line Ulsterman arrived in Sheffield riding the crest of a wave having enjoyed the best form of his professional career.
The 2021 Northern Ireland Open winner recaptured the title for a second time to kick-off what was a superb 2022/23 campaign, before landing his second Triple Crown title with success at the UK Championship during the winter.
He has since reigned supreme in the World Grand Prix too, overcoming Trump in a dramatic and tense final frame decider - becoming only the tenth player of all-time to secure three majors in a single campaign.
Despite his semi-final defeat to Mark Selby, Allen will be full of confidence in 2023/24 as he eyes up more success including the the biggest prize the sport has to offer in Yorkshire.
One third of the fabled ‘Class of 92’, alongside O’Sullivan and John Higgins, the Welsh Potting Machine remains one of the favourites to land success in Sheffield 31 years on from his tour debut.
A three-time world champion, winning in 2000, 2003 and 2018, Williams is renowned for his single-ball potting ability, and to some, for his controversial break technique.
However, whilst his safety-first approach break has been ditched, his prowess within the balls hasn’t, and the 24-time ranking event winner will likely head back to Yorkshire next year hoping that he can make his vast experience count in a long-format competition that plays to his strengths.
Always a well-backed outsider at the Crucible, Kyren Wilson certainly boasts the mind-set needed to last the distance at the World Snooker Championship.
As dogged and determined as they come, the Kettering man excels in long-format competition and will return back to the Crucible with his sensational maximum against Ryan Day in 2023 fresh in his mind.
Whilst the 147 didn't quite inspire Wilson to the heights he had hoped for in Sheffield - being comprehensively beaten by John Higgins in the second round - he has reached at least the quarter-finals in six of his nine appearances there.
The aptly named ‘Warrior’ will be relishing the opportunity of adding a world title to his five ranking titles to date, and will most definitely have his backers as he bids to go a step further than in 2020 when he was beaten in the final by Ronnie O’Sullivan.
To Win Outright
All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.