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Antrim potter Mark Allen ready to take on the World

By Frank Brownlow

Mark Allen insists there is no chance of him underestimating Crucible debutant Mitchell Mann, his first round opponent in the World Championship.

Mann, the world number 74, will be making his Crucible debut but already has a win over Allen to his credit, beating the Antrim potter in China Open qualifying earlier this season.

The world number seven, who won the Players Championship in Manchester last month, said: "My preparation has been very good. My advice to Mitchell is don't fall down the steps! Playing at the Crucible for the first time is so nerve-wracking."

Allen (30) will start against the Birmingham cueman (24) on Tuesday afternoon in the £1.5million tournament, playing to a finish on Wednesday morning over the best of 19 frames.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham gets the action under way tomorrow (10am) against two-time finalist Ali Carter.

Bingham is trying to break the Curse of the Crucible by becoming the only first-time winner to successfully defend the World crown.

Ronnie O'Sullivan will start his bid for a sixth title against David Gilbert on Sunday.

The full draw is: 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.

Belfast Telegraph

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