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Murphy ready for Robertson battle

Harlow’s Shaun Murphy will be looking to pull off a shock victory on Thursday when he meets Neil Robertson at the World Championship.

A number of high-profile players have already been knocked out of the tournament and Murphy will be hoping he can add Robertson’s name to that list.

The 36-year-old started the tournament in fine style as he beat China’s Luo Honghao 10-0 earlier this week.

That whitewash was just the second at the Crucible since John Parrott’s win over Eddie Charlton in 1992, while Luo scored the least amount of points in history with 89.

Robertson nearly produced his own whitewash against Cyprus’ Michael Georgiou but he had to settle for a 10-1 win.

The Aussie won the China Open at the start of the month and many believe he is the man to beat after Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the tournament on Tuesday.

Murphy is 3.60 to win the game, with Robertson the 1.29 favourite and 4.50 to lift the trophy. Mark Selby will also return to the table when he faces Gary Wilson and he is expected to cruise through to the third round.

A 13-6 victory is best priced at odds of 8.50, and punters can also back Selby to win the first frame at odds of 1.53.

Jack Lisowski currently trails Ali Carter 4-5 in their first-round match, but Lisowski can still be backed at 2.20 to win despite his slender disadvantage.

In the other first-round match, Kyren Wilson is in total control as he leads Scott Donaldson 6-2.

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