Ronnie O'Sullivan

Snooker World Championship Preview: O'Sullivan Turns Attention To Murphy Clash

2017-04-19
A preview of day six of the World Championship in Sheffield.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is 4/9 to put this week's controversy behind him and reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship.

The five-time Crucible champion grabbed the spotlight following his first-round victory over Gary Wilson by accusing World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and his board of bullying and intimidation on disciplinary issues.

But the 41-year-old is attempting to put all that behind him when he begins his second-round clash with 2005 champion Shaun Murphy on Thursday.

O'Sullivan said in a statement: "Any outstanding issues with the snooker authorities will be addressed by my legal team following the conclusion of this great event, when I hope a sensible resolution can be reached.

"I will not be making any further comment about this during the World Championships.

"I wish to focus all my energies on performing to the very best of my ability for the fans in my quest for a sixth world title."

Murphy, who battled past 17-year-old Crucible debutant Yan Bingtao in round one, is 7/4 to beat the Rocket for only the fourth time in their 14th clash.

O'Sullivan has won nine of those meetings, with one draw in the 2010 Premier League group stage, but Murphy prevailed in their last clash at the 2015 German Masters.

The pair have met twice at the World Championship, with O'Sullivan winning 13-10 at this stage in 2011 and 13-3 in the 2014 quarter-final.

The Rocket recorded two centuries in both games and he is 11/20 to have the highest break this time.

Also on Thursday, Stuart Bingham, the 2015 winner, is looking to beat Kyren Wilson for the first time when they start their last-16 tie.

Wilson, 25, is 5/4 to make it five victories from as many matches against the world number three.

All of Wilson's wins have come in shorter matches and Bingham can be backed at 13/20 to prevail in the best-of-25 meeting.