The annual Mosconi Cup sees five of the best professional pool players from Europe take on their American counterparts in a series of team, singles and doubles matches, with the winning team being the first to reach eleven points.
Americans hold the historical advantage
In 18 Mosconi Cups, America holds the advantage with 11 victories (61%), one draw and six defeats.
Remarkably, 14 of the 18 events have been hosted in Europe, with the US winning 57% (8), and the Europeans just the five. However, Europe remains undefeated at home since 2004, putting their home advantage to good use.
Despite losing in London back in 2010, America holds the historical advantage in England’s capital with seven wins from 10 Mosconi Cups.
Throughout the history of the competition, America have won 57% of Team matches as well as 53% of both Singles and Doubles encounters between the two teams.
However, America is the underdog with odds of 2.580 to claim its eighth win on European soil.
Europe have dominated since 2007
Despite the Americans conquering the Europeans in the past, there has been a massive shift in momentum over the past five Mosconi Cups.
Since 2007, Europe have won 80% of Mosconi Cups, with their only blight coming in Nevada in 2009. The success of the Europeans can be put down to their overall improvement in Team, Singles and Double formats during this time.
During this period Europe have improved their Team format win percentage by 17% to 60%, however the improvement in the Singles and Doubles is the most impressive.
Europe average 5.6 points during Single format games, winning a notable 57% of all games, compared to their overall average of 47% – up 10%.
In Doubles play, the Europeans now average 4 points - compared to 3.4 – while they have won 56% of games since 2007 compared to just 47% overall.
With the Europeans emerging as the dominant force in the Mosconi Cup over the past five years, they are the 1.595 favourites to win their third successive title.
Battle of the Captains: Will Ruijsink remain unbeaten?
The influence of non-playing captains on the Mosconi Cup could also help influence the outcome of the famous trophy.
Dutchman Johan Ruijsink will captain the Europeans for the fifth time as he looks to maintain his undefeated record at the event. The 43-year-old has ensured the Europeans claimed Mosconi Cup success in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.
Following a 16-year absence from the sport winning 1996 Mosconi Cup player/captain CJ Wiley returns to skipper the Americans.
The 47-year-old from Texas will face a tough challenge as he attempts to rally the Americans and turn their recent Mosconi Cup fortunes around. Can Ruijsink’s winning mentality rub off on the European team in 2012, or will the return of Wiley inspire the Americans?
Is there a home advantage?
With the Mosconi Cup returning to York Hall London for the eighth time in 2012 punters could be forgiven in to thinking that this will hold a home field advantage for the Europeans, however the history suggests otherwise.
In seven previous meetings between the two teams at York Hall, the US have won five compared to the Europeans two Mosconi Cups. With this said though, Europe have won the last two (2002 & 2010).
Despite Europe holding no historical advantage at York Hall, the influence of the volatile European crowd, and with the Europeans more familiar with the venue than the Americans, they will be hoping to claim their third successive York Hall victory.