Ronnie O’Sullivan v Kyren Wilson: Champion of Champions 2018 preview – Rocket and Warrior face off in the final

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Ronnie O’Sullivan denies Kyren Wilson to regain Champion of Champions crown

O'Sullivan and Wilson vie for the £100,000 title (credit:Eurosport)

O’Sullivan and Wilson vie for the £100,000 title (credit:Eurosport)

Ronnie O’Sullivan looks to secure a third Champion of Champions crown at the expense of in-form Kyren Wilson in Coventry on Sunday.

O’Sullivan is appearing in his fourth Champion of Champions final in as many appearances in the elite invitational, having won the title in 2013 and 2014 before finishing runner-up in 2016 and 2017.

The world number three is bidding to add this prestigious trophy to his Shanghai Masters crown this season – an event in which he defeated Wilson in the Semi-Finals en route to glory in September.

The Rocket began his Group Four campaign with a 4-2 win over English Open champion Stuart Bingham before dispatching his old rival John Higgins 6-3 in the group decider.

He then dethroned defending champion Shaun Murphy thanks to a 6-3 triumph in the Semi-Finals and has racked up eight century breaks along the way.

Wilson, meanwhile, has surpassed his run to the Semi-Finals on debut here in 2015 after a series of superb displays to continue a landmark year in his career.

The reigning Paul Hunter Classic and Six Reds champion, who also finished runner-up in The Masters, began with an impressive 4-1 win over World Champion Mark Williams in Group Three.

Wilson then thrashed Judd Trump 6-1 to reach the Semi-Finals – where he held his nerve to edge past Mark Allen in a last-frame decider thanks to a timely break of 89.

Victory here would be Wilson’s most significant since the Shanghai Masters three years ago as he bids to gain revenge on ‘The Rocket’ for back-to-back defeats.

Their first ever meeting saw Wilson prevail 4-3 at the 2016 Northern Ireland Open before O’Sullivan ran out a dominant 9-2 winner in the final of the 2017 English Open.

The five-time World Champion then defeated the Kettering cueist 10-6 in the Semi-Finals in Shanghai earlier this season.

Their latest encounter gets underway from 1pm GMT for a total of eight frames, resuming to a finish over the best of 19 from 7pm.