With the World Championships fast approaching in April, the top 16 snooker players must first compete in the 2019 Masters.
Having achieved almost everything in the sport already, Ronnie O’Sullivan attempts to become the third player to complete the Triple Crown in the same season after his triumph in the UK Championship back in December.
Meanwhile, top seed Mark Allen is looking to achieve back-to-back Masters victories following his victory over Kyren Wilson in last year’s final.
Here, our snooker expert runs through who they expect to emerge victorious come 20th January.
Judd to play his Trump card at Alexandra Palace
Judd Trump is the 8/1 second favourite with Grosvenorsport.com to win his first Dafabet Masters. The former number one finished 2018 strongly, having reached the semi-finals in last month’s Scottish Open and winning the Northern Ireland Open in November. Trump enters this tournament in fine form.
An eagerly anticipated first round clash against rival Kyren Wilson will be a tough ask for the Bristolian but at 8/1 to win the tournament, Trump’s a good price.
O’Sullivan to rocket to victory
Ronnie O’Sullivan enters the tournament as the favourite with Grosvenorsport.com in search for his eighth Masters title.
Having won three out of the five tournaments he’s played in this season, there is no doubt that the Rocket still remains the man to beat within the sport. Staying focused is the key for him to succeed but this short format tournament should play into his hands.
When O’Sullivan’s on form, no player can match his ability and at 2/1, he’s heavily fancied to take the crown.
The Pistol to defend his title
Despite the pressure on Mark Allen to retain his title, the Northern Irishman heads into this tournament very confidently, stating his game is in very good shape. With three tournament victories to his name last year, 2018 was undoubtedly the best year of Allen’s career and he’ll hope to carry that momentum over into 2019 by retaining his Masters crown.
With a favourable side of the draw, the Pistol should make the semi-finals at the very least and at 10/1, he’s my tip to go all the way and lift the Masters trophy for a second year running.
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