We have reached the quarter final of the European Masters in Lommel and from here on in there is just one table in operation with each match being played under the lights and in front of the TV cameras so there is a much more important feel to proceedings.
The four matches will be played across two sessions with two matches in each. They roll on and off so it could be a relatively lengthy day given that we are still over the best of seven frames. There are two corking matches and two which could surprise.
Mark Williams vs Cao Yupeng
The opening quarter final sees the renowned tournament winner Mark Williams taking on a Chinese player who is looking to make a name for himself once again in the form of Cao Yupeng. This is a battle of experience against youth.
I was really impressed with Williams in his last 16 win over Neil Robertson. That was a performance which makes him a real contender for this title but it is hard to ignore how well Cao Yupeng has battled in this event. I don’t see Cao having the game to beat Williams but his battling this week shows he might stay close to make a game of it. The scores either side of the handicap look favourite to me but I can’t pick which one.
Judd Trump vs Mark Allen
The pick of the afternoon quarter finals is the heavyweight battle between Judd Trump and our pre-tournament pick Mark Allen in what will be a cracking contest if they are both near their best.
Trump has looked vulnerable this week. He was 3-1 down to Martin O’Donnell and won and Dave Gilbert looked the better player for much of the last 16 match. I just wonder if those battles will have taken it out of Trump. Allen has looked really good so far this week. He has made a century in each match so far and looks to be hitting the ball really well.
Allen has won the last five meetings between these two and Trump’s last win came in a deciding frame so the Northern Irishman raises his game to play Trump. I’m on Allen outright but I think he wins this so I’ll take him here too.
Stuart Bingham vs Mark Selby
The stand out quarter final in the evening session is first onto the table when the former world champion meets the current one when Stuart Bingham faces Mark Selby in a juicy looking encounter.
Selby has shown his brinkmanship and some this week. He had to come through a decider against Mark Joyce in his held over match and his last two battles, with Lu Haotian and Jack Lisowski, have also gone the distance. It took a while this season but Bingham has finally come to the party. He is scoring well and creating chances and looking good.
Bingham’s record against Selby is a very creditable one and I believe Selby is waiting to be turned over. Bingham looks like a man who is perfectly capable of doing it and he is a juicy price too.
Anthony McGill vs Zhou Yuelong
The final match of the night sees an Anthony McGill looking for a second major semi-final in as many months taking on a Zhou Yuelong who would be looking to reach that stage for the second time in his short career.
McGill is playing good snooker but Yuelong has come nicely through the draw. I would imagine this will be the toughest match of the tournament so far for both men which adds a different dynamic to things, as does the fact they will both be on the main table for the first time. I’m on Zhou outright and I’m happy to sit on that rather than search for a bet that might not be there.
Back M.Allen to beat J.Trump for a 4/10 stake at 2.50 with Betfair
Back him here:
WON – Back S.Bingham to beat M.Selby for a 4/10 stake at 2.60 with Boylesports
Back him here: