Five players to watch ahead of the World Snooker Championship

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Ronnie O’Sullivan bids for a record eighth title of the modern era while in-form Mark Allen attempts to break a desperate Crucible run as the World Snooker Championship returns to Sheffield on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five players to watch, all of whom have the potential to lift the prestigious title on May Bank Holiday.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Betfred World Snooker Championship – Day Seventeen – The Crucible
Ronnie O’Sullivan could eclipse the record he holds with Stephen Hendry (PA Media)

Mark Allen

Cazoo Masters 2023 – Day Three – Alexandra Palace
Mark Allen has had a stellar season but boasts a dreadful Crucible record (Adam Davy/PA)

Shaun Murphy

Snooker – Embassy World Championship 2005 – Final – Matthew Stevens v Shaun Murphy – The Crucible
Shaun Murphy has reached three finals since winning the world title in 2005 (Gareth Copley/PA)

Mark Selby

Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 – Day 17 – The Crucible
Mark Selby represents a significant threat at the Crucible (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Ding Junhui

Cazoo UK Championship – Day Nine – York Barbican
Ding Junhui is showing signs of a return to form (Isaac Parkin/PA)

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