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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Ronnie O'Sullivan ready to dismiss Stephen Maguire

Glaswegian playing well but unlikely to stop Rocket

Ronnie O'Sullivan will have to be on his guard in his semi-final
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BBC1, BBC2 & Eurosport 1, 1.15pm Saturday

Ronnie O'Sullivan will play Stephen Maguire for a place in the final of the Betway UK Championship after both players posted similar quarter-final triumphs in York on Friday.

The pair led their quarter-final opponents 5-0 before Maguire defeated in-form Joe Perry 6-3 and the Rocket ended the comeback hopes of Martin Gould by the same scoreline.

O'Sullivan, who opened with century breaks in the first two frames of his last-eight clash, is a hot property to see off Maguire, whom he leads 16-4 in their personal series.

However the favourite, winner of seven of his last eight meetings with the Glaswegian, would do well to respect the upset claims of an opponent who has troubled him in the past.

Maguire may be looking to step things up for a more meaningful tilt at the Betfred World Championship in April and given that he is one of the game's heaviest scorers at his peak, O'Sullivan will need to be on top of his game throughout the best-of-11-frames semi-final.

He has been scoring better than Maguire, though, and should be able to successfully concede a start of 1.5 frames to the outsider.

R O'Sullivan -1.5 frames
1pt 1-2 Paddy Power

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O'Sullivan, who opened with century breaks in the first two frames against Gould, enjoys a 16-4 head-to-head lead over Maguire
E.W. Terms
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