World Seniors Championship - Live Stream

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Luca Brecel v David Gilbert live stream | World Championship 2024 preview

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Brecel begins his title defence on Saturday (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Luca Brecel launches his World Championship title defence with a tricky opening match against David Gilbert at the Crucible on Saturday.

As is traditional, the reigning champion will break off at 10am BST on Saturday in Sheffield, where he is looking to become the first player to avoid the notorious “Crucible Curse”.

Indeed, none of the previous 16 first-time winners at the venue have ever gone on to successfully defend the title, which Brecel won in remarkable and historic fashion 12 months ago.

The Belgian arrived having failed to win on any of his five previous appearances, but finally stopped the rot by edging out Ricky Walden 10-9 in the opening round.

Three-time champion Mark Williams was then narrowly beaten 13-11, before Brecel won seven straight frames from 10-6 down to defeat seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-10 in the quarter-finals.

He then completed the greatest comeback in Crucible history, overturning a 14-5 deficit to stun debutant Si Jiahui 17-15 in the semis to set up a final showdown with four-time champion Mark Selby, who he beat 18-15 to become the first winner of this tournament from mainland Europe.

Although, Brecel has struggled to build on that momentum this season. Despite being runner-up to O’Sullivan at the Shanghai Masters and inaugural Saudi World Masters, a run to the Welsh Open quarter-finals represents his best performance in a ranking event.

And he faces a tricky opening test of his credentials against Gilbert, who reached the semi-finals here five years ago.

The Angry Farmer defeated David Lilley and Xiao Guodong in qualifying to secure his 10th Crucible appearance, and sixth in a row.

However, since that epic 2019 semi-final with John Higgins, which he narrowly lost 17-16, Gilbert has won just one of his following five matches on snooker’s biggest stage.

Similarly to Brecel, he has reached just one ranking quarter-final this term – at the Northern Ireland Open – and so arrives at the Crucible with a point to prove.

The winner of this best-of-19 match will play either Robert Milkins or Pang Junxu in the World Championship second round.

Play gets under way at 10am BST on Saturday with the opening nine frames, while playing to a conclusion at 7pm with a maximum of 10.

How to watch Luca Brecel v David Gilbert live stream

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1) Go to Bet365.com via this special link

2) Register an account, place a £10 first bet and get £30 in Free Bets* (18+ only, T&Cs apply)

3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Snooker’ from the left-hand menu

4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the stream window will appear

*18+ only. New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5-£10* (*or currency equivalent) to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. Registration required. BeGambleAware.org

All matches are also available to watch live at Sky Bet. To watch, simply:

1) Go to Sky Bet via this special link

2) Register an account (18+)

3) Get £30 in Free Bets when you place ANY first bet*

4) Go to the Snooker menu and select ‘Watch Live’ next to the match in progress

*New customers only. First single or E/W bet only. 5p minimum stake. 3x £10 Bet Tokens. Free Bet Stakes not included in returns. Free Bets exclude virtuals and are non-withdrawable. Eligibility restrictions and further T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org