O’Sullivan on course for UK Championship success after Akani test

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It’s an all-British affair as the UK Championship reaches its climax this weekend.

Only players from England, Scotland and Wales remain after a last-16 stage which saw some of the best cue-masters pushed to the limit.

While John Higgins faltered, Ronnie O’Sullivan battled through to further enhance his credentials as favourite.

The Rocket fought back from 2-0 down against Thai prodigy Sunny Akani to edge out a tense 6-5 victory in the last-16.

That win sets him up nicely for a run to the final where he’s considered a 4/6 chance to land a record-equalling sixth UK Championship.

Shaun Murphy, whom O’Sullivan could potentially face in the showpiece, is next best at 4/1.

The Magician was pushed all the way by Liam Highfield in the last-64 but has dropped just four frames since. A 6-1 victory over Ricky Walden in the last round underlines his quality.

Murphy faces rank-outsider for the tournament Mark King (25/1) in the next round.

He’s beaten Kojak in 13 of their 14 meetings and should make it through to the semi-finals at the very least.

Welshman Ryan Day is considered a 9/1 shot to follow up his Riga Masters win in June with his second tournament triumph of the season.

It’ll be a tough ask for the Pontycymer potter, especially after being pushed all the way by Li Hang and Mark Williams in the last two rounds.

Elsewhere, Stephen Maguire will face Joe Perry before a possible semi-final match-up with O’Sullivan.

That tricky potential route through to the final sees him priced at 10/1 for a surprise competition success.

Martin Gould has enjoyed a comfortable route through to the quarters but that could be about to end against The Rocket.

With O’Sullivan in the way, Gould’s odds of tournament victory stand at an unlikely 16/1.

Mark Joyce rounds out at the contenders at 25/1. For a player who has knocked on the door at this stage in two tournaments already this season, that could prove good each-way value.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication.

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.