By William Hill
Last Updated: 25th November 2019
The UK Championship heads to the Barbican Centre in York and it is sure to be an intriguing fortnight of action.
The trophy may as well be called the Ronnie O’Sullivan Trophy, with ‘The Rocket’ having won the title on seven occasions over the years, including the last two renewals.
Can O’Sullivan do it again? We preview the tournament, which gets under way on Tuesday.
Trump in the form of his life
Judd Trump has had a 12 months to remember and arrives in York in arguably the best form he has shown since emerging on the big stage as a promising 16-year-old back in 2005.
If ‘The Juddernaut’ comes out on top here, he will become the first player since Mark Williams in 2003 to hold all Triple Crown trophies – the World Championship, Masters and UK Championship.
It would be some achievement for the Bristol-born player and while he will definitely be involved in the latter stages, given he is the 5/2 to favourite to win the title, that is simply too short due to the quality and form of others in the tournament.
Allen to go one better?
Mark Allen was involved in the final last year before losing to O’Sullivan 10-6, but he arrives in York in as good form as he was this time last year.
The Northern Irishman has reached four semi-finals this season and that shows he is there or thereabouts to finally break back into a final and potentially lift the UK Championship crown.
Only a Mark Selby comeback denied him at the English Open, while Trump was lucky to get the better of the 33-year-old after an unfortunate kick at the Champion of Champions, and that proved to be the turning point for Trump who went on to win.
Allen seems to save his best for York and he arrives here in good form, and at 16/1 to win the tournament, he could provide good each-way value.
O’Sullivan to the top once again?
O’Sullivan is not the world No. 1 right now with the performances of Trump stealing the show.
He may not have looked his best in recent months following an out-of-sorts showing at the English Open and a shock qualifying-stage exit for the World Open, but his run to the semi-finals at the Champion of Champions event shows that he could be arriving back in York in some good form.
As touched on previously, O’Sullivan’s record at the Barbican Centre is quite staggering, having won the event seven times – the most of any player in the game, with last year’s win surpassing Steve Davis’ record six wins in the event.
He may have the tougher side of the draw, but if anyone can come through it, ‘The Rocket’ can and at a boosted 4/1 to win the title, his name could well be etched onto the trophy once again.