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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Shaun Murphy: World Snooker Championship 2017 preview - Rivals collide in Second Round show-down

No love lost: O'Sullivan and Murphy (credit:)

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to advance to the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 World Championship at the expense of rival Shaun Murphy when the pair lock horns over three sessions at The Crucible.

The eagerly-awaited tie sees the two former World Champions do battle across three days as the stakes and format increase in Sheffield.



The match has been injected with added intrigue after Murphy dismissed O'Sullivan's allegations of bullying towards him by snooker's governing body as 'completely wrong' in his First Round press conference.

Much of the build-up to this match has been dominated by The Rocket's controversial claims of victimisation, with Murphy just one of a number of players to have since had their say. 

O'Sullivan looks with Murphy at the table (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
O'Sullivan, though, will be determined to let his cue do the talking when he returns to action and make the headlines for all the right reasons this time around.

The reigning Masters Champion came through a tricky opener against in-form qualifier Gary Wilson 10-7 last weekend and will be poised for another potentially long-haul contest here.

Murphy is bidding for a first World Championship win over O'Sullivan in three attempts, having gone down 13-10 at this stage of the 2011 event, before suffering a crushing 13-3 defeat in the 2014 Quarter-Finals.

The world number five survived a scare from 17-year-old sensation Yan Bingtao before drawing upon his vast experience to close out a 10-8 victory in the opening round.

Murphy has arguably been playing the more consistent snooker of the two this season and this contest is sure to give a firm indication as to O'Sullivan's state of mind as he enters the business end of the tournament.

In total, O'Sullivan has won four of their five meetings in world ranking events, with Murphy's sole triumph coming in the most recent fixture in the 2015 German Masters.

Their latest best-of-25 show-down gets underway from 7pm BST on Thurday for a total of eight frames, resuming at 2.30pm on Friday, before being played to a finish from 10am on Saturday.

Either 2016 Crucible runner-up Ding Junhui or English Open champion Liang Wenbo will await the winner in the Quarter-Finals next week.



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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Shaun Murphy: World Snooker Championship 2017 preview - Rivals collide in Second Round show-down

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to advance to the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 World Championship at the expense of rival Shaun Murphy when the pair lock horns over three sessions at The Crucible.

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