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Snooker: The Masters Final Preview – Neil Robertson V Shaun Murphy

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Sixteen men entered but only two remain in the hunt to lift this year’s Masters Crown at Alexandra Palace and the tournament is set for a thrilling climax as Neil Robertson meets Shaun Murphy for this showpiece event for the second time in four years.

Will the Thunder from Down Under run out victorious once more or can the Magician pull another trick out of the bag to get his hands on the crown?

Whatever happens, we should be in for a classic.

Robertson Out For 2012 Repeat

The World No.1 has certainly lived up to expectations this week and, after seeing him demolish both Ali Carter and Ronnie O’Sullivan with minimal fuss, nobody could argue that the Australian doesn’t deserve his place in Sunday’s final.

Robertson beat both Carter and O’Sullivan via confident 6-1 scorelines and the 32-year-old will be extremely positive as he heads into this clash against a player whom he usually gets the better of. In addition to his 2012 final victory over Murphy, the 2010 World Champion boasts an 11-7 head-to-head record over his opponent.

This week has been Robertson’s best snooker for some time and even Murphy has conceded that the Australian is nearly impossible to beat when firing on all cylinders, as he has been in his last two matches.

The pressure will be on Robertson’s shoulders but he is more than ready to handle it.

Can Murphy Complete His Triple Crown?

At the start of the tournament, Murphy set himself a target of winning this title at some stage before 2025. Eight days later and his wait may already be over.

It has been a fantastic week for the No.14 seed, whose semi-final win over Mark Allen was just as impressive as Robertson’s triumph over Ronnie, and he’d love to end it in fitting style. Having contemplated given up the sport just over a year ago, it signals a tremendous turnaround and this title really would underline that sentiment.

Murphy has shown his class from the outset this week, overcoming Mark Selby in a difficult first round contest before beating Stephen Maguire and Allen en route to booking a repeat clash of the 2012 final.

Just 10 frames stand between Murphy and the triple crown. The Magician will be desperate to produce the goods on Sunday. He has by his own admission improved since losing to 10-6 to Robertson three years ago, but that still might not be enough to win the title.

Neil Robertson V Shaun Murphy Betting

With the way that Robertson has played in the past few days it is no surprise to see the World No.1 enter this match as the 4/7 favourite with Paddy Power. However, Murphy’s best available odds are only 13/8, which suggests the bookies feel that the man from Harlow is capable of causing an upset.

Unfortunately, for Murphy, we don’t. Robertson has the mental edge in this head-to-head rivalry and that should serve the Australian well.

Both Carter and O’Sullivan have fallen victim to Robertson’s lethal play and he is more than capable of string three, four, or even five frames in a row. If he does put a run together at some stage, this match is unlikely to go the distance.

Neil Robertson -1.5 frames @ 4/5 with Paddy Power

Murphy seems utterly determined to avenge his 2012 defeat, but that could work against him and there is a chance that he could allow this match to slip away early on.

Robertson will show no mercy and will be looking to take a lead heading into that first mid-session break. We think the World No.1 will get it.

Neil Robertson to lead 3-1 after 4 frames @ 11/5 with Paddy Power

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