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Snooker: World Championship - All you need to know

The qualifiers for the World Snooker Championship are well under way and it won’t be long before the sport’s top potters descend on Sheffield for two weeks of baize action.

Last year's Crucible champion Mark Selby is 15/2 to successfully defend his crown and capture a fifth world title.

Recent Tour Championship winner Neil Robertson is at 4/1, with Judd Trump 9/2. Six-time Crucible king and world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan is 5/1, as he bids to regain the title he won in 2020.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the Sheffield showdown.

Where can you watch the World Snooker Championship?

The draw for the last-32 will take place at 11am on April 14th and can be followed on WST social media channels. The World Championship will be broadcast live throughout on the BBC and Eurosport and the BBC will also have live coverage via its website and interactive TV services.

When does the World Snooker Championship start and finish?

The Sheffield showpiece gets under way on Saturday, April 16th, with defending champion Selby opening the action at 10am and he will play to a finish the same evening. The tournament runs to Monday 2nd May in what is a marathon of baize battles.

What is the format of the World Snooker Championship?

Snooker fans were given a taste of long-format matches, with the recent best-of-19-frame Tour Championship. The majority of the tour is played over the first-to-seven or first-to-nine distance these days and this tournament does pose different challenges.

No player can be sure to play well in every session of the event and it's often about minimising the damage when things aren't going quite as planned.

The event is made up of a 32-player main draw, preceded by a 128-player qualifying tournament. The top-16 cuemen in the world rankings are seeded into the tournament and they will be joined by 16 qualifiers.

First-round matches are the best-of-19-frames tussles, second-round and quarter-finals contests are the best-of-25, semi-finals move up to best-of-33 and the final, played over two days, is a best-of-35 marathon.

Who is the defending champion?

Selby won his fourth world title when he was crowned Crucible king last year. The Jester is well-suited to this format and the Leicester cueman is always a potter to have on your radar at Sheffield.

There is no shortage of former winners in the field, with O'Sullivan, Mark Williams, Robertson, Trump, Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy and John Higgins all guaranteed to be in the field.

Where is the World Snooker Championship held?

The World Snooker Championship is held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, with he event moving to the Steel City venue in 1977.

World Snooker Championship predictions

There is certainly an open feel to this year's Sheffield event. O'Sullivan, Robertson and Higgins have strong claims, but all have been housed in the bottom-half of the draw and it could pay to look elsewhere.

Selby and Trump are the big-potters in the first section, but both of those cuemen have been struggling for form in recent months.

There is a three-time world champion lurking at 33/1 in the top half of the draw and 2018 Sheffield hero Williams is worth an each-way bet.

The Welsh potting machine has made the semi-finals of the Masters, the final of the Shootout and won the British Open this season and he seems to be coming into this event in good nick.

We know that Cwm cueman is one of the toughest match players in the game, the Welshman is also a proven Sheffield performer and he looks capable of outrunning his odds.

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