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Mark Selby v John Higgins live stream World Snooker Championship Final preview - Crucible kings vie for glory

Jamie Shaw 30 Apr 2017
Selby and Higgins shake hands at The Masters (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Mark Selby aims to successfully defend his World Championship title and deny John Higgins a famous fifth triumph when they face off in a fitting Crucible climax.

Watch and bet on Selby vs Higgins live at Bet365 > Sports > Live streaming Snooker


Two of the most decorated players of the modern era go head-to-head in a mouth-watering four-session battle for the right to claim snooker's richest ever prize of £375,000.

True to form, world number one Selby is appearing in his third Betfred World Championship final for four years, while Higgins has rolled back the years to win through to his first since 2011.

Selby is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan in becoming only the fourth player ever to retain the sport's most prestigious trophy at The Crucible.

The Leicester ace dropped just 11 frames en route to the Semi-Finals, kick-starting his run with a 10-2 rout of Fergal O'Brien, before seeing off Xiao Guodong 13-6 and blitzing past Marco Fu 13-3 with a session to spare.

He then came through an epic tussle with Ding Junhui in a repeat of last year's final - eventually holding his nerve to seal a 17-15 triumph.

Higgins and Selby pose with the trophy ahead of the 2007 final (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
His 143 break against Fu has been hailed by many as perhaps the greatest non-maximum break in Crucible history and any sign of a repeat performance could spell grave danger for Higgins.

Higgins has culminated a season of superb resurgence in style and has rarely been threatened in advancing to his sixth World Championship final.

The Wishaw veteran has defeated Martin Gould, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins all by margins of at least four frames even despite tinkering with the tip of his cue.

Winner of the Champion of Champions and China Championship last November, the 41-year-old is just one win away from becoming the oldest World Snooker Champion since Ray Reardon back in 1978.

This fixture marks a repeat of the final here a decade ago, one in which Higgins prevailed 18-13 against a youthful Selby.

Selby, though, leads the overall head-to-heads 9-5, with his most recent success a narrow 6-5 win in the Quarter-Finals of the 2016 UK Championship en route to taking the title in York.

Their latest meeting will be contested over a marathon best of 35 frames at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and promises to be a fitting way to end the 40th anniversary of this special tournament at this iconic venue.

The final gets underway from 2.30pm BST on Sunday for a total of eight frames, resuming at 7pm, before being played to a finish from 2.30pm and 7pm on Monday.

Player's View:


Selby: "Everyone has blips in their careers where they go through bad patches and are struggling. John’s been no different but, when he’s at his peak, he’s one of the greatest of all time.

"For him to get back to the final after so long shows you just how tough the game is."

Higgins: "Mark's a big favourite and I’m the underdog this time.

"Right now, you’d have to favour Mark because he’s been involved in these massive matches over the past five years. But I feel that, if I play my best game, I can push him hard.
 
"Back then, I’d have probably thought that my days of competing in the final were behind me. But I’ve come in here and it’s been a great two weeks so far. 

"I’m in my sixth final and going for a fifth title, it’s a great feeling."


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Mark Selby v John Higgins live stream World Snooker Championship Final preview - Crucible kings vie for glory

Mark Selby aims to successfully defend his World Championship title and deny John Higgins a famous fifth triumph when they face off in a fitting Crucible climax.

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