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Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy - German Masters Final preview - World Champion and Masters king collide

Jamie Shaw 8 Feb 2015
Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy survey the scene during their first round clash at the 2015 Masters in London. (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Shaun Murphy looks to make it back-to-back major televised titles in 2015 when he takes on World Champion Mark Selby in a fitting German Masters final on Sunday.

Watch and bet on Selby v Murphy live at Bet365 > Sports > Live streaming Snooker

Man of the moment Murphy has picked up from where he left off in landing a maiden Masters title at Alexandra Palace last month, showcasing his brilliant best form consistently throughout the week.

Murphy has affirmed himself as the most in-form player on planet snooker at present, overcoming Michael Wasley and Mark Allen in the early rounds, before turning the tables to deny Ronnie O'Sullivan in a pivotal clash and going on to defeat Liang Wenbo to seal his progression.

The smooth Sale cueist is appearing in his first German Masters final and is bidding for his fifth title in the space of 12 months. 

Selby, meanwhile, has kick-started the second half of his season in style, defying a bout of jetlag to power his way to the final having returned from a pool championship in China early last week.

Following early exits at the UK Championship and Masters, Selby appears to have steadied the ship in Berlin, defying tricky tests from Anthony McGill and Peter Ebdon to reach only his second ranking Quarter-Final of the season.

There, he defied a terrific 147 break to Judd Trump to edge through a 5-4 winner, before producing a break-building master-class in a 6-2 victory over Stephen Maguire on Saturday night.

The reigning World Champion has not lifted silverware since last August's Riga Open, but his flawless all-round game will stand him in good stead against a man with whom he progressed through the junior ranks in the mid-90s.

The duo have met a total of 34 times in previous major competition, and incredibly, there is nothing to separate them, with both having claimed 16 victories apiece as well as two draws.

Of the 243 competitive frames they have contested, Selby has won 122 to Murphy's 121 dating back to 2001.

The most recent meeting came in the opening fixture of last month's Masters, in which Murphy stormed 5-1 ahead, before being taken all the way to a decider by the plucky Leicester man, before edging over the line 6-5.

The match gets underway at 1.00pm GMT for a total of eight frames, and will be played to a conclusion from 7.00pm over the best of 17 frames at the Tempodrom in Berlin.

Shaun Murphy of England enters the arena (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Player's view:

Selby: "I have played better match by match this week. Shaun is the best player on tour at the moment and full of confidence. I need to play as well as I did tonight to stand a chance. I have grown up with Shaun and if I'm not in a tournament I always want him to do well. 

"Tomorrow, friendship will go out of the window and whoever plays best will win. The atmosphere in the final here in 2011 was electric and I'm sure it will be the same tomorrow."

Murphy: "I've completely changed in the past six months. I've had to work hard to zone everything out and just focus on the shot."

"It has been a privilege to watch snooker grow at this venue. When it goes down to one table it becomes the best snooker arena on the tour. You can hear and taste the atmosphere, your senses are on fire."

Snooker-News verdict:

Two of the most consistent performers of the last 12 months and arguably the last five years lock horns in front of a 2,500-strong crowd for a final which has all the makings of a classic.

Having overturned O'Sullivan en route to his ninth consecutive televised victory, Murphy heads into the final with sky-high confidence, but is all too aware of what his best friend is capable of.

Murphy will need to match Selby's key strength in the safety department, but his faultless shot selection and improved long potting means he offers the stand-out value as the marginal outsider to take the title.

Neither player has scored to their most prolific capabilities so far this week, with Murphy recording two centuries to Selby's one, suggesting a flurry of half centuries could be on the cards in this close-run battle.

Our top three tips with William Hill:

  • Murphy to win @ EVS
  • Murphy to lead after the first session @ 8/5
  • Over 14.5 total frames @ 8/13

To watch the match live online, simply:

1. Go to Bet365
2. Register a new account (You'll receive a £200 matched bonus)
3. Click on live streaming at the top of the page once you are logged in
4. Select 'Snooker' from the menu and sit back and enjoy the action!

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Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy - German Masters Final preview - World Champion and Masters king collide

Shaun Murphy looks to make it back-to-back major televised titles in 2015 when he takes on World Champion Mark Selby in a fitting German Masters final on Sunday.

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