The Shanghai Masters made a belated return to the snooker tour schedule this season and the qualifying event for the tournament begins on Wednesday when a number of players look to book their tickets on the plane to the China capital.
In all there are three sessions of play over the course of the day and while the very big names are being saved for the remainder of the week there should still be a decent amount of quality on show right from the beginning.
There are one or two big names in the morning session of play with Ryan Day and Ricky Walden gracing the tables. Day takes on Josh Boileau while Walden goes up against Mitchell Mann. Elsewhere Noppon Saengkham faces Adam Duffy, Tom Ford meets Chen Zifan, Jimmy Robertson goes up against Ashley Hugill, Yu Delu plays Sean O’Sullivan and Andrew Higginson takes on Akani Songsermsawad.
Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins are the biggest names on show in this session. Both face Chinese opposition as Allen meets Zhang Yong while Hawkins faces Chen Zhe. Two other Chinese players are also in action in this session when Yan Bingtao plays Eden Sharav and Michael Holt meets Xu Si. Robbie Williams goes up against Rhys Clark while Luca Brecel will play Jak Jones. There is also an all-Asian clash between Xiao Guodong and Aditya Mehta. David Grace faces yet another Chinese player in the form of Wang Yuchen.
There are more Chinese players in action in this session too. One of them, Fang Xiongman, takes on Matthew Stevens while Mark King will go up against Matthew Bolton from Australia. Jamie Jones and Martin O’Donnell will do battle for the second time in a week with Stephen Maguire going up against Thor Chuan Leong. Daniel Wells meets Robin Hull and Matt Selt and Craig Steadman do battle. Kyren Wilson faces Gerard Greene in the other match.
I like two bets which both come in the evening session. Martin O’Donnell out battled Jamie Jones in Lommel last week and he looked a big price to follow that up here. Not only did O’Donnell see off Jones but he took Judd Trump to a deciding frame and should really have beaten him. Jones had a good run in the Paul Hunter Classic but he hasn’t won a match since then and at odds against O’Donnell is a perfect acceptable price to take care of him.
Robin Hull is another player who heads into this qualifying tournament with no form to speak of behind him. He takes on a Daniel Wells who took care of Shaun Murphy in the World Open recently so who should be confident off the back of that. We know what Hull can produce at his best but equally we know that having fallen off the tour before when he gets into a rough trot he can find it tough to come through. I fancy Wells to win their encounter.
Back M.O’Donnell to beat J.Jones for a 4/10 stake at 2.25 with BetVictor
WON – Back D.Wells to beat R.Hull for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365