Welsh Open predictions, snooker betting tips and odds: Rocket ready for lift-off
O'Sullivan can put on a show at Celtic Manor
Snooker tips, best bets and analysis for the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor in Newport.
When to watch
BBC Wales, Eurosport and Quest, 10am on Monday
4pts 9-2 Betfred, BoyleSports
1pt each-way 80-1 Betfred, Betway
For the first time this season the action on the green baize is not coming from the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes as this week Celtic Manor stages the 30th running of the Welsh Open.
The venue may be a new one for the sport of snooker, but a familiar face could return to the winner's enclosure - six-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan looks the man for punters to be with.
This is the tenth event of the season as well as the fourth and final tournament in the Home Nations Series, and although O'Sullivan is yet to win a title in this campaign, he has been knocking on the door.
The 45-year-old finished runner-up in the Northern Ireland and Scottish Open, he caught the eye when limbering up in the Championship League last week and now has a great draw to work from in the 128-man event.
Championship League action is treated by most of the top players as streamed match practice with prize money and an opportunity to fine-tune their game, but O'Sullivan was in great form on Wednesday and should go into this event in top shape.
The Rocket has achieved everything there is to achieve in snooker, but this trophy may mean slightly more to him as it is named after his former coach and mentor Ray Reardon.
O'Sullivan speaks fondly of the Welsh legend and believes without Reardon's contribution he may not have become a multiple world champion.
A favourable draw will certainly aid the cause in his hunt for the £70,000 first prize and a fifth Welsh Open title. It looks a fairly straightforward task for progress through to the quarter-finals.
The draw, however, is far from ideal for Mark Selby and Neil Robertson, who share a fiercely competitive second quarter with recent Masters champion Yan Bingtao.
World number one Judd Trump continues to march on in what has been a brilliant season. He rightly heads the market but is poor value given he needs to navigate his way through a tricky path to the latter stages.
The first quarter is open and one for each-way punters to attack. It features defending champion Shaun Murphy as well as Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire and recent Shoot Out winner Ryan Day.
Welshman Day, buoyed by his win last week, gets the vote and he is now settled and happy with his cue. Since he won his maiden ranking event title at the Riga Masters in 2017, the 40-year-old has switched cues seven times and struggled for any consistency.
In his interview after winning the Shoot Out he highlighted his plight and a slide down the rankings to somewhere in the 50s, but he is now back in the top 32 and fancied to go well for the rest of the season, starting this week on home soil.
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