Man to Beat
Perry is the sixth highest ranked non-automatic qualifier Selby has won seven of the 12 previous meetings Selby warmed up for this event in style by winning the China Open, while Perry came through three qualifying games and will be match sharp. Marco Fu highest break Fu highest break. The pair met at this stage of last year's World Championship, with Dott prevailing Nine of their ten previous meetings have been won by a margin of three frames or less Carter is the seeded player but has progressed beyond the Last 16 in just one of his last 11 tournament appearances.
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Share this with your friends. You have unread messages You have unread messages. Gambling Awareness We are committed to responsible gambling and have a number of ways to help you stay in control and keep gambling fun. Walden said he was happy with how he played in his opener but he was another who looked very edgy towards the end against Brecel, though he never really looked like losing. But for both of them this is a new day and if patterns are anything to go by this might again be a very tetchy affair.
Ding Junhui v Anthony McGill. McGill battled through and showed his fighting qualities at the end against Ryan Day, who was inexplicable awful in the second session and allowed the Scotsman back into it with very little resistance.
Ding on the other hand dominated Xiao from the off and looks content and happy, his health concerns that plauged him during the UK and The Masters now seem like a distant memory and he is obviously a big contender again for the title. A bit like Judd, Anthony has already used his get out of jail card and you have to say that this match is probably a mountain too high for him, I expect Ding to win quite comfortably.
Lyu Haotian v Barry Hawkins never played each other. Contrasting pathways here for these two. Its fair to say that if we take first round form at face value and apply it to this match then Lyu would ride out a comfortable winner.
In terms of head to heads and very much like when all the toilets were stolen from the local billiard hall, we have nothing to go on.
Having backed Barry in the outrights I hope he wins but he will have to improve a lot and hope his opponent begins to feel the occasion. Lyu to win Mark Williams v Rob Milkins. The walk-on tunes when these two walk out belong more at the British Legion than The Crucible but what follows will be every inch worthy of this great stage. MJW got the match won against Jimmy Robertson early and you could sense that he lacked a bit of motivation coming out to finish it off before he finally did and in some style.
He proclaimed himself afterwards in the form of his life and who are we to disagree? I think this one will probably go the same was as the match involving Jones in that Williams will win or tie each session, keeping the Gloucester man at arms length.
Ooooohhhhh Ali , look at the head to heads…. For his part, Ali showed all his famous battling qualities to come back from a deficit to Dotty and overturned that particular Crucible hoodoo, so at least he can draw on the fact that he reversed historical form here in the last round. Best of luck Cap. Some people call Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, someone even wrote a song to that effect.
The most wonderful time of the year is now, as we embark on the 17 day marathon to find our new world champion. What on this planet could be better than that? The added spice this year comes from all angles. The reigning champion and winner for the past two years Mark Selby aims to become the first man this millenium to win 3 on the spin.
Only Hendry and Davis have ever done it in the modern era and Selby is in with a real shout of adding his name to this elite list of great champions. His relatively poor season was forgotten and banished to the snooker scrapheap two weeks ago in Beijing as he retained his China Open title. Can he be stopped over this tailor made longer format?
For me he comes into this as sharp as he has ever been, if he can last the distance, he is surely the man they all have to beat, including long match specialist Selby. Higgins ran out of whack last year in the final so that has to place a question mark over him, but how many times has he proved us wrong in the past? Shaun Murphy, another looking to add to his single world crown, has been plagued by back and neck problems recently after a great spell of form at the beginning of the year.
Masters Champion Mark Allen who may face Selby in the second round has also been showing some of his best form this season, he is definitely a player overdue a big run here. Judd Trump will be looking to avenge his shock first round defeat last year and comes into this a bit under the radar, which may suit him.
Kyren Wilson has got as close to Selby as anyone over the longer distance recently and is an outside fancy of many shrewdies. Back to form Barry Hawkins looks to shrug off the modern day Crucible Curse of a number six seed never winning the World Championship. Yes, all in all, there are many potential players that could upset the big two. What about the qualifiers? Can one of them achieve the impossible, or rather improbable dream after a gruelling week at the EIS?
There are ranking event winners and a World Champion in amongst that lot too. If you click on the match you will be magically transported to the Cue Tracker website where you can lose yourself in stats, including the head to head record between the two players in question, a true haven for snooker anoraks.
Before I begin, anyone who likes to play snooker or is thinking of taking it up might also be interested in the links to John Parrott Cuesports in between quarters below, they are offering discounts on some of their hand picked products exclusively for all readers during the World Championship. Now then, what have we here….. The defending champion has drawn one of the toughest qualifiers in former semi-finalist Perry.
They have never met here but as recently as they actually met in the qualifiers, which Selby won , but since then if you exclude the minor contests their record has been remarkably even. I can see this being a late one on Saturday evening, with Selby just edging it in his customary granite style and giving himself most of the week off before coming back to grapple.
One of the most improved players of the season in the lower ranks, Liam Highfield comes here for the first time in his career in very good form. My guess is that he will be happy to have drawn a debutant, it should be an attacking affair this but in terms of scoring firepower I think there is a pretty big gap between them. It was six years ago now that Jamie came here, beat Shaun in the opening round and went on a run to the Quarter Finals.
Lots of people expected him to kick on from that but he never really has. He made headlines by whitewashing Liang Wenbo in the qualifiers, as odd a result as this was he still played very well. The Thai player can reel off frames at a rate of knots and if, but it is a big if, if he takes to this place quickly he could be a real handful for John.
Can you imagine if Un-Nooh did win and Lisowski did too? Surely the quickest ever best of 25 frame match would follow in round two.
The reason being that I sense Jack is at last beginning to become the player he has always promised to be and I genuinely think he has a chance of at least winning this quarter if he keeps his composure this year. An extremely impressive qualifier, Chris Wakelin is also stepping into the arena for the first time this year. Regular readers here will know that I really rate Chris and have done now for some time, he seems to have the right attitude to really progress at this game.
However, just look at that head to head, this kind of thing can enter your head when you have failed so many times to beat the guy sat next to you. Especially when that guy is probably still fuming about losing here at this stage the previous year. But for me he just still throws in the odd wobbly session and if you do that, this place tends to find you out. But I fancy him to win quite comfortably here. The Snooker Gods now appear to have viewing figures as part of their remit.
Another qualifier that they all wanted to avoid here is Ryan Day, the man who narrowly missed out on an automatic spot lines up against McGill, who always seems to enjoy it here. This could easily be the other way around in terms of who is seed and who is qualifier and I think these two are pretty evenly matched these days.
Both players that play something like their best at The Crucible, Day comes into this for the first time as a ranking event champion and seems to be oozing confidence. The man outside of Selby with the most consistent recent Crucible record Barry Hawkins takes on Stuart Carrington who comes here for the third time trying to win his first match.
Hawkins is fast adopting the label as a Crucible specialist and he showed some signs in China that once again this time of year is when he peaks. Of the 5 times these two have met, MJW leads and in terms of frames he holds a 25 frame advantage. Add to this that the Welshman comes into this third on the one year money list behind Ronnie and Selby and you have yourself what should be a first round banker just like Judd last year, that went well.
Jimmy again has been here before and is yet to win a match in three attempts, though he did give Mark Allen a good match here last year. I fancy him to make a real push for a third title. Since then Robbo has won the following four ties before The Milkman won their last one in in Northern Ireland.
I was sat in the press seats for the whole of that match and witnessed at first hand just how good Dott still is. He kept Ali at arms length following a opening session and played some superb snooker. A few years earlier they also had an epic battle here which Graeme also won so will it be third time lucky for The Captain or business as usual for Dotty? In terms of their seasons Dott has had much the better one, he stands at 15th in the one year list with Ali down at Recent form also suggests that Dott has the edge and there is a definite feel that this might be a repeat of what has gone before.
The scheduling of this match has thrown me a bit. William Hill Sports Betting Skip to main content. In-Play information subject to delay click here for full Live In-Play betting rules.
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