World Snooker Championship Tips: Back comfortable wins for Selby and Wilson

Snooker player Mark Selby
Mark Selby is getting better with every match at this year's Snooker World Championship

We've reached the one-table set-up at the Crucible, which means the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship. Gary Moss takes a look at the Sportsbook odds...

"They've only ever met twice in Sheffield and on both occasions the result has gone Selby's way. He'll relish it again and has proved he has what it takes to stand up to The Rocket on the biggest stage."

Back Selby to Win @ 13/8

It's all starting to feel that bit extra special at the famous Crucible Theatre as we drop down to just one table.

With the semi-finals now with us, the draw is a tale of two halves. On one side, we have bags of experience in the form of Mark Selby and Ronnie O'Sullivan who between them have won the event eight times.

On the other half of the draw, history awaits for Kyren Wilson or Anthony McGill who with a win will create the finest moment in their careers walking out in a coveted World Championship final.

Jester moving through the gears superbly

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Selby

Do the scars of 2014 loom large? We will soon find out.

It is six years since O'Sullivan last reached the one-table setup at The Crucible when Selby beat him to the title and, as he returns, it is the same man stood waiting for him.

Since losing that match, Ronnie has never quite been the same player at the World Championship being beaten in a variety of manners when the pressure has started to mount on him.

He's back at the business end of the event gunning for a sixth world title - but his old nemesis who he famously nicknamed "the torturer" is ready to go toe-to-toe with him across four sessions of snooker.

ronnie o'sullivan 1280x720.jpg

While O'Sullivan's focus and intensity has fluctuated so far in this tournament, his results to reach the last four have sure been impressive. He began with a devastating 10-1 demolition of Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, followed it up with a 13-10 win against Ding Junhui and recovered impressively from 7-2 down against Mark Williams to win by the same margin in the quarter-finals.

But make no mistake, he will need to be at it from the very first ball against Selby if he's to make it through to a seventh world final in 20 years.

The Jester seems to be moving through the gears nicely in this tournament, culminating in a dominant 13-7 victory over Neil Robertson in the previous round.

This is Selby's first appearance in the semi-finals since his third world title back in 2017 and he's shown glimpses of his trademark steel as he's navigated his way through the early matches. He seems to be clinical under pressure and really up for the fight.

This is a real humdinger of a match-up. They've only ever met twice in Sheffield and on both occasions the result has gone Selby's way. He'll relish it again and has proved he has what it takes to stand up to The Rocket on the biggest stage.

O'Sullivan though may feel he's got a score to settle, and as the sport's record holder for Triple Crown event wins, knows there's a chance in front of him to prove a few doubters wrong who said he could never win the biggest event again and rubberstamp his fantastic longevity in the sport.

On this occasion however, I feel that Selby will have his number once more.

Wilson will continue to rise to the occasion

Kyren Wilson v Anthony McGill

A maiden World Championship final is the prize on offer for the player who can come out on top in this encounter.

Wilson goes into the contest as a strong favourite (1/4 on the Sportsbook) having reached this same stage of the event two years ago and being ranked among the top eight in the world rankings.

His 13-9 victory over world number one and defending world champion Judd Trump to get here underlined his credentials as a potential future world champion, showcasing his ability to both rise to the occasion on the big stage and perform under pressure against the best players in the world.

Kyren Wilson 1280x720.jpg

Wilson possess an abundance of bottle and seems to thrive on maximising every facet of his game and continuing to progress towards the very top of the game.

While most of the talk will surround the re-emergence of the famous old Crucible Curse as Trump's hopes of retaining the trophy disappeared to dust, it cannot be under-estimated quite how well Wilson played. There was a calm and controlled manner about him in his win and while he heads into the last four as favourite, he has the kind of maturity which will ensure he takes nothing and no one for granted.

For McGill, this is a first taste of the semi-finals here in Sheffield having fought his way past Jack Lisowski, Jamie Clarke and Kurt Maflin so far in this tournament.

He's played with great fortitude all the way through with strong shot selection and a very sound temperament at the heart of his game as always.

This is uncharted territory for the Scot having never got this far in any of the major events. It's a cliché but how he starts could prove crucial. If he can keep himself in the match in the opening couple of sessions, he might settle into some rhythm. Otherwise, and I suspect this will happen, Wilson could dominate.

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