World Snooker Championship: Our top three picks for Crucible joy

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We’re now just a month away from the first ball being hit on the famous Crucible cloth, and with so many players heading into the World Championship confident of going all the way, we thought now would be a good time to give you our early picks.

Who’s impressed us in recent weeks? Where has the money gone so far? And which Ronnie O’Sullivan will turn up?

Find out below!

Our Top Bet

Of course, it would be far too easy of us to tip up Mark Selby to win this tournament. He’ll head into it looking to become just the second player to win back-to-back World trophies since the turn of the Millennium.

So who takes our fancy?

We reckon Judd Trump (11/2has a great chance of following up his Players Championship win with victory in Sheffield.

We know how dangerous a player he is on the potting front, but he’s beginning to master the tactical side of the game too, much to the worry of every player on the circuit.

It’s often been said that it’d be an absolute travesty if Trump were to never win a world trophy, but he’ll have a chance to put an end to that kind of talk this year – and we wouldn’t be surprised if he took that chance with both hands.

Who’s in form? Fu’s in form

The Hong Kong ace is enjoying arguably his best year in the sport, winning the Scottish Open and finishing runner-up in the Ladbrokes Players Championship.

He’s changed his approach by reducing his average shot-time and it’s beginning to pay dividends. Fu is looking as natural as we’ve ever seen him before and it looks as though he’s genuinely enjoying playing right now.

He reached last year’s semi-final in Sheffield, before narrowly losing out to eventual winner, Mark Selby.

He’ll head into this year’s competition feeling even more confident about his chances – and at 14/1, we reckon he’s great value to go all the way. Failing that, there could be some value in backing him each-way.

One to avoid – Ronnie O’Sulliavn

He’ll head into this year’s championships as joint-favourite to go all the way and lift his sixth Crucible trophy. But last year’s Second Round exit to Barry Hawkins is exactly the kind of reason why you should avoid backing the Rocket.

Granted, when he’s on his game, very few can get near him. The problem is, more often than not in recent years he’s disappointed punters.

He’s exited no less than six ranking tournaments at the Third Round stage or earlier already this season – and he’s the man every player will want to beat.

If it’s a toss-up between him and Selby (both available at 4/1), we’d have to lean towards the world number one.

Click here for a full list of World Championship Snooker odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.