Mark Allen drawn against debutant Mitchell Mann in World Championship opener

Mark Allen
Mark Allen

Mark Allen will face debutant Mitchell Mann in the first round of the World Championship which gets underway in Sheffield on Saturday.

Mark is seventh in the world rankings following his recent victory at the Players Championship and is in confident mood ahead of the tournament.

“My form has been half decent without being spectacular,” said the 30-year-old speaking to the BBC.

“Getting another good win like that when I wasn’t quite at my best is another feather in my cap but I will need to put everything right in Sheffield.

“You can’t go there with a ‘B’ game and expect to compete against the best players in the world.”

Meanwhile, Ronnie O’Sullivan will launch his bid at the Crucible by facing former Tamworth potato farmer David Gilbert.

The 34-year-old struck unlucky, being the qualifier drawn to tackle the five-time Crucible king who has already this year won the Masters and Welsh Open.

Their clash will span the opening Sunday and Monday, and Gilbert must put himself in the mindset to tackle the player he most keenly wanted to avoid.

“It’ll be a massive occasion,” he said. “I played Stephen Hendry there (in 2007) and didn’t realise how big or important that day was at the time.”