All-Scottish clash in snooker World title first round

Stephen Maguire will face veteran Alan McManus. Picture: PA
Stephen Maguire will face veteran Alan McManus. Picture: PA
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The first round of the Betfred World Championship title will see an all-Scottish clash between Stephen Maguire and Alan McManus.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will launch his bid for a sixth title against Tamworth’s David Gilbert.

O’Sullivan, 40, is the favourite for the Crucible title, having already triumphed at the Masters and Welsh Open this year.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham begins his challenge on Saturday with a tough opener against two-time beaten finalist Ali Carter.

Other highlights of the first-round draw include Judd Trump’s match against Liang Wenbo and a repeat of last year’s quarter-final between Shaun Murphy and Anthony McGill.

Four-time champion John Higgins plays Ryan Day first, Mark Selby tackles Robert Milkins, while China’s former world number one Ding Junhui, who was widely considered the qualifier best avoided, was handed a tie against Martin Gould.

Former world champions Mark Williams and Graeme Dott go head to head.

The only debutant in this year’s tournament, Birmingham’s Mitchell Mann, will play former semi-finalist Mark Allen.

Betfred World Championship first-round draw:

Stuart Bingham v Ali Carter

Stephen Maguire v Alan McManus

Ricky Walden v Robbie Williams

John Higgins v Ryan Day

Judd Trump v Liang Wenbo

Martin Gould v Ding Junhui

Mark Williams v Graeme Dott

Neil Robertson v Michael Holt

Shaun Murphy v Anthony McGill

Marco Fu v Peter Ebdon

Barry Hawkins v Zhang Anda

Ronnie O’Sullivan v David Gilbert

Mark Allen v Mitchell Mann

Joe Perry v Kyren Wilson

Michael White v Sam Baird

Mark Selby v Robert Milkins