April 17, 2021

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Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan miss out in Alfie Burden’s World Snooker Championship tips

4 min read

The top players in the world head to the Crucible again this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Alfie Burden has tipped Neil Robertson and John Higgins as potential winners of the World Snooker Championship this year, believing tournament favourite Judd Trump could regret playing in so many events this season.

The Crucible stages of the World Championship get underway on 17 April and there are a handful of strong contenders to lift the title on 3 May.

Many will be backing the world number one and 2019 world champion, Judd Trump, who has added five more ranking titles to his collection this season.

The 31-year-old has been in fabulous form for much of the campaign, but has shown some vulnerability lately, most recently falling at the first hurdle to Barry Hawkins at the Tour Championship last week.

It has been a hectic schedule for the world number one this year, playing in almost every event possible and going deep in many of those.

Former world amateur champion Burden, who made it to the Crucible back in 1998, feels the sheer amount of snooker Trump has played in recent months could prove his downfall in Sheffield.

‘I’m not one of them to sit on the fence,’ Burden told when asked for a World Championship tip. ‘I don’t fancy Judd, simply because…look what a player, unbelievable player, what he’s done in the last couple of years is ridiculous.

Judd Trump is favourite for the World Snooker Championship this year (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The last couple of events, he won Gibraltar [Open], but he didn’t look quite right in this one [Tour Championship]. I get a feeling that he wins so many tournaments and I just think for Judd maybe he might look at that in the future.

‘Who am I to say anything, but he might look at playing one or two tournaments less and just making sure, because if he’s right he takes some stopping in the big ones.

‘I just think he puts everything into every tournament, plays in everything and you’re going to crash and burn at some point.

‘I hope he hasn’t crashed and burned before the biggest one of them all. Hopefully he has a week off, recharge the batteries and hopefully he’s at it for the Worlds, comes in fresh.

‘He’s not my pick this year, just going on last week, he didn’t look right to me.’

Turning to who he does see lifting the title in South Yorkshire, Burden has picked out two candidates: Higgins and Robertson.

Both men have romped to titles in recent weeks as Higgins dispatched the competition to win the Players Championship and Robertson did the same at the Tour Championship, both men thrashing Ronnie O’Sullivan in the finals.

The Scot is in the top half of the draw with the Aussie in the bottom, so there is the possibility that the two men could clash in a blockbuster final in Sheffield.

‘I fancy Neil Robertson or John Higgins, they’d be my two picks,’ said Burden.

John Higgins was in superb form at the Players Championship (Picture: WST)

‘Obviously the form John Higgins showed in that tournament (Players Championship), nobody’s seen anyone play any better than that. He smashed Ronnie in the final.

‘If he plays like that he probably will win it, because he was unplayable.

‘Neil Robertson, he’s done it right, missed a couple of tournaments recently and he looks to be peaking bang at the right time.

‘I’d go with Neil and John, but there’s a lot of great players. Not even mentioned Ronnie, can never write [Mark] Selby off, it should be a great tournament.’

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