Thursday, 19 April 2012

Crucible Countdown: Fans prediction panel

A blog is nothing without its readers.

Thousands of snooker fans will be flocking to Sheffield over the next couple of weeks to catch a glimpse of the World Championship action.

For a second season in succession, OnCue asked a selection of its loyal readers what they think will happen.

Here's what they had to say...

Martin Endersby said: "I think Mark Selby will win it this year. I feel like he's at the right stage of his career where he's ready to step up to the plate, even though most other people seem to be tipping Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui.

"Stephen Lee could be the player to stop Selby, if anyone. He's the form man of 2012 and could be a major force if his stamina holds up to the test."

Ian Wagstaff said: "Ding Junhui is going to win the World Championship this year. China's finest player looks primed for a massive assault on the title this year. He's been placed in the toughest quarter of the draw but possesses all the qualities in his game to wear the Crucible crown. His temperament has improved massively over the past two seasons.

"I'm going to be keeping a careful eye on Matthew Stevens as well this year. He's back in the top 16 and probably benefiting from playing in more tournaments since Barry Hearn took over the sport. He's got lots of class and is confident at the Crucible. I think he'll get close but sadly I fear his chance to win the biggest event has probably already passed him by.

"I'm looking forward to watching the Belgium kid Luca Brecel too. He's absolute class and has a fluently effortless style of play."

Kellie Barker said: "I'm back at the Crucible this year with a ticket for all the sessions for the 17 days. There's no place I'd rather be.

"Picking a winner is so difficult  after the season we've had. There are so many players in form going to Sheffield. But I think it could be time for Neil Robertson to win a second title. He's been very solid in most events, he's a complete player and knows how to win at the Crucible."

Phil Pedlow said: "I'm tempted to plump for John Higgins to win a fifth title but a defending champion rarely comes back to it again so I'll say Judd Trump. I think he'll return to the iconic Crucible and raise his game with the memories of how well he did here last season.

"Outside of those two players, Martin Gould is worth a look. I believe this guy has the ability to beat anyone on his day and I think the other players know it as well. He's lost to eventual finalists in both of the last two seasons but maybe this year it could be him.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see Liu Chaung win a match or two as well. He beat everyone's favourite, Jimmy White, in qualifying, is showing all the right signs of having a bright future and has already sampled the Crucible atmosphere as a youngster back in 2008."

Martin Linton said: "It's going to be very tough for John Higgins to defend his title judging by the form he's shown this season. Judd Trump is the boomakers' favourite and, although he's a danger with last year's final under his belt, I also think he's not quite ready to win it yet. It's always difficult to pick a winner but I think it could be Mark Selby or Ding Junhui.

"I've got a feeling Peter Ebdon could be a very dark horse this season as well. He had a horrible start to the year but bounced back by winning the China Open and beating Alfie Burden 10-0 to qualify for Sheffield. He can't be ruled out.

"I'm interested to see David Gilbert in action. He had some good qualifying wins and stands a chance of going further with Martin  Gould up next, who has had a hit-and-miss season."

Donna Evans said: "I feel under pressure after predicting the correct winner at the World Championship last season. I can't believe Judd Trump is the favourite. I think it's crazy and if I was putting any money on, I'd pick Mark Williams. I'm looking forward to Peter Ebdon's match with Ronnie O'Sullivan and I also have a feeling Barry Hawkins could give a good account of himself."

Daniel Burke said: "I'm going to say Ronnie O'Sullivan. He's been the best player this season despite the amount of events he's missed. He's in great form, his long game looks better and he looks like he's adopted a tougher and more positive outlook to playing. He's a real contender.

"Mark Selby's mindset is too negative to win so my second and third favourites would be Mark Allen and Ding Junhui respectively."


  1. danny macdonald20 April 2012 at 11:41

    i think ronnie o'sullivan will win this years worlds. theres no doubt that if this genius turns up and wants to win he is pretty much unplayable, still the best break builder and long potting has much improved. my outsider is mark allen.

  2. Can never be sure sadly. I'd give Ronnie a 60% chance, more than others... but he does have one of the most difficult qualifiers and draws...


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