World Snooker Championship: Stuart Bingham faces Ali Carter

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre
2016 World Snooker Championship
Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April - 2 May
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham faces two-time runner-up Ali Carter in the first round of the World Championship.

Bingham, 39, won his first world title in 2015 after beating Shaun Murphy, who comes up against Anthony McGill.

Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan faces Dave Gilbert, world number one Mark Selby plays Robert Milkins and Judd Trump meets Liang Wenbo.

Bingham begins his campaign at 10:00 BST on Saturday, playing to a conclusion from 19:00 on the same day.

World number two Bingham, who won a shock maiden world title last year despite being a 50-1 outsider at the start of the tournament, drew one of the most difficult qualifiers in Carter.

O'Sullivan and Selby will be confident of progressing after gaining favourable draws, but in-form Trump, who won the China Open earlier this month, faces a significant test in 2015 UK Championship runner-up Liang.

"The very first match that came out, Trump against Liang, what a first round that is," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn. "That will be sensational and my pick for the first round."

All eyes were on China's number one player Ding Junhui, who had to qualify after slipping out of the top 16, and he comes up against Englishman Martin Gould.

Alan McManus Twitter
Alan McManus faces fellow Scot Stephen Maguire

Other standout ties see Northern Irishman Mark Allen come up against world number 74 Mitchell Mann, the only debutant this year, and an all-Scottish clash between Stephen Maguire and Alan McManus.

"Just because he is number 32 seed, it still won't be easy," said Allen. "I won the Players Championship, the last tournament I played in, but it is different pressure here. The place brings back special memories and there is so much history here."

This year's tournament sees 28 of the top 32 players in the world in action, with every champion from this century looking to win the title again.

Full 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

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