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Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Mark Joyce Live Stream, Predictions & Tips - O'Sullivan begins World Snooker Championship title defence

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Mark Joyce predictions for the World Snooker Championship first round
  • The match is being played at the Crucible on Saturday (10.00am BST)
  • O'Sullivan won a sixth world title last year
  • O'Sullivan and Joyce have met twice before for 1 win each
  • Match preview, stats and predictions
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Ronnie O'Sullivan is the defending champion (Getty Images)
Gary Emmerson 16 Apr 2021
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Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Mark Joyce Predictions


Ronnie O'Sullivan returns to the Crucible as the defending champion, while Mark Joyce is playing in the World Snooker Championships for the first time.

I expect the Rocket to make quick work of the veteran, who despite the lack of crowd could be overawed by the occasion.

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan is a 6-time winner of the World Snooker Championship.
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan is the defending champion.
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Mark Joyce in the WST Pro Series in March.
  • Mark Joyce is playing at the Crucible for the first time.

Head to Head


Ronnie O'Sullivan has clashed with Mark Joyce twice before for a win and a loss.

Joyce won 5-4 in the China Open in 2017, while O'Sullivan was a 2-1 winner of their WST Pro Series clash in March this year.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Form


World number two Ronnie O'Sullivan started the year by beating Ding Junhui in the opening round of The Masters in January, only to then lose to John Higgins in the second round.

O'Sullivan reached the final of the Welsh Open, dropping just two frames along the way. But he lost the decider 9-8 to Jordan Brown.

At the Players Championship, the Rocket defeated Ding Junhui, thrashed Jack Lisowski in the quarter-finals and then got the better of Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals. But it was another defeat in a final for O'Sullivan as he lost to Higgins. 

O'Sullivan gained revenge by beating Higgins 10-8 in the quarter-finals of the Tour Championship and then beat Hawkins in the semis. But once again he came unstuck as he lost another final, this time to Neil Robertson 10-4.

Mark Joyce Form


Having won just four matches from his previous 12 played, Mark Joyce successfully came through qualifying to reach the World Snooker Championship.

The world number 46 defeated Anthony Hamilton 6-3 to set up a decider with Brazil's Igor Figueiredo for a spot at the Crucible.

Joyce held a 9-5 lead in the best-of-19 contest and despite some jitters got across the line with a 10-7 victory.

Joyce is one a three-game winning run, his longest since June last year.

Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Mark Joyce FAQs

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Verdict

Ronnie O'Sullivan should make a winning start to his title defence. Mark Joyce has been given a +5.5 frame start, but I'm tipping the Rocket to cover the handicap.

Best Bet: O'Sullivan -5.5 Handicap @-111.11 at BetMGM - 3 Units

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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Joyce