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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Selby: UK Championship Snooker Final preview: Rocket and Jester vie for glory

Jamie Shaw 4 Dec 2016
Mark Selby shakes hands with Ronnie O'Sullivan ahead of the World Championship final in 2014 (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to secure a record-equalling sixth UK Championship title at the expense of reigning World Champion Mark Selby when the pair face off in a mouth-watering final in York on Sunday.

Watch and bet on Selby vs O'Sullivan live at Bet365 > Sports > Live streaming Snooker


The decorated duo are set to write another memorable chapter in their fascinating rivalry as they lock horns for the right to lift the prestigious trophy and land the £170,000 top prize.

Victory for O'Sullivan would see him equal Steve Davis' record haul of six UK crowns, while Selby is bidding to double his tally by following up his 2012 triumph.

O'Sullivan last reigned here in 2014 before opting out of his title defence 12 months ago, meaning he is now 13 matches unbeaten in this tournament heading into the final.

The maverick five-time World Champion enjoyed a relatively smooth passage to the Semi-Finals, dropping just six frames along the way to victories over the likes of Matthew Stevens and Mark Williams, before edging out Marco Fu courtesy of a stunning 130 break in the deciding frame on Saturday night.

Selby celebrates victory in 2010 (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
While 'The Rocket' has picked up The Masters and Welsh Open titles in 2016, he is yet to open his account for the new season and will be determined to do so in this iconic arena.

Selby, meanwhile, has underlined himself as the undisputed world number one with a series of granite performances en route to a third UK Championship final.

The Leicester ace swept past Andy Hicks, Daniel Wells, Robert Milkins and Zhang Anda for the loss of just seven frames, before edging out John Higgins 6-5 and dispatching Shaun Murphy 6-2 in the Semi-Finals.

The current World and International Champion is targeting a first win over O'Sullivan since the 2014 World Championship final at The Crucible and one which would see him join an elite band of multiple UK Champions.

In total, O'Sullivan has won eight of their 15 previous meetings in ranking competition and their latest encounter appears too close to call on paper.

The best of 19-frame final gets underway at 1pm GMT for a maximum of eight frames, resuming to a finish from 7pm at the York Barbican Centre.

Player's view:

O'Sullivan: "Mark is the best player in the world at the moment, he's far too strong in all departments. 

"I'll be going into it as a slight underdog but I'm just happy to be in the final. I say that, but of course I still want to win."

Selby: "Whether I am the favourite or not, if I play my own game I am capable of winning. 

"To get in the elite group of players of winning the World and UK in the same year would be great."

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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Selby: UK Championship Snooker Final preview: Rocket and Jester vie for glory

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to secure a record-equalling sixth UK Championship title at the expense of reigning World Champion Mark Selby when the pair face off in a mouth-watering final in York on Sunday.

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