Ronnie O’Sullivan will be looking to eclipse Steve Davis’s record of six UK Championship titles when the 2018 tournament gets underway this week.
But who should punters be following from each of the tournament’s four quarters before the competition begins on Tuesday?
We’ve picked out our four cue ball wizards to watch over the next fortnight.
Quarter 1 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (10/11)
It’s difficult to look past O’Sullivan at 10/11. The Rocket has won this event a record-equalling six times and has reached the quarter-finals or better on each of his last four appearances at the Barbican Centre.
He’s been none too shabby this season either. In the four tournaments he’s appeared in so far, O’Sullivan has won two, reached the final in one and the semi-final in the other.
There’s nothing for him to be afraid of in his quarter of the draw, and given the fluency with which he’s playing, it’ll take something special to send the Rocket home early.
Quarter 2 – Judd Trump (2/1)
Higgins may be the 2/1 favourite to come through the second quarter of the draw. But it was hard to not be impressed watching Trump pot his way to victory in Northern Ireland last week.
The Juddernaut played like poetry in motion to oust O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final and claim his first ranking title since 2017. Higgins provides the only real danger in his quarter here.
And with the Scotsman facing potential battles with Robert Milkins and Luca Brecel before a likely run-in with Trump, the Englishman is a 21/10 price to win Quarter 2.
Quarter 3 – Stuart Bingham (5/1)
The Basildon-born potter is a three-time quarter-finalist so far this term and put it all together last month to land the English Open in Crawley.
A potential meeting with Selby could be a sticking point if the pair both win through their first and second round matches. Bingham knows how to beat the three-time World Champion, though, having won their last two head-to-head battles.
Quarter 4 – Stephen Maguire (9/1)
There’s something about York that just agrees with Stephen Maguire. The Maverick has reached the last-eight or better on eight occasions since 2008 and also won the tournament back in 2004.
His 2018-19 form isn’t spectacular, although he did manage to reach the semi-finals of both the English Open and the Riga Masters. Maguire is 9/1 to win Quarter 4, with Mark Williams providing the obvious opposition at 11/4.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication