Thursday is a busy day at the Scottish Open with two rounds of action being played as the 32 remaining men are being whittled down to just eight for the quarter finals inside the Emirates Arena on Friday.
We lost the defending champion Neil Robertson on Wednesday while his predecessor as champion Marco Fu also bit the dust but some big names did make it through so we are set for a wonderful Thursday. As ever at this stage of these tournaments we can cover the last 32 in the morning and afternoon but time restrictions will deny us the chance to cover the last 16.
Six matches take place in the morning session with the main one being the one between Joe Perry and Kyren Wilson which will be on the main table. Graeme Dott goes up against Luca Brecel on the match which is most likely to be on the streamed offering in a match which both will fancy their chances of coming through.
On the outside tables Ross Muir will be in action when the man who beat Neil Robertson on Wednesday takes on Sam Baird. Ali Carter will be eyeing up another title this week. He faces the amateur David Lilley for a place in the last 16 while Zhou Yuelong takes on Stuart Carrington. Ian Burns and Billy Joe Castle meet in the other match in the session.
Loca hero John Higgins will be on the main table once again, 24hrs after his wonderful maximum break. He has a tough assignment against Yan Bingtao while Shaun Murphy will be on the streamed table first up in the afternoon. He faces the former world finalist Nigel Bond. There is a Chinese battle in this session between Tian Pengfei and Lu Ning while Alfie Burden plays Zhang Yong for a place in the last 16. Ryan Day meets Zhang Anda in one of the other two matches with Mark Joyce meeting Daniel Wells in the other.
Four matches have been saved for the second set of games in this session. Judd Trump plays Zhang Jiankang in one of them while Yuan Sijun faces the Masters champion Mark Allen in another. Ding Junhui meets the Chinese youngster Zhao Xintong with two of them being on the main table and the streamed one. The final game in the session sees Matthew Stevens going up against the European Masters winner Jimmy Robertson.
There are two bets that I like in the last 32 which both come in the afternoon session. Alfie Burden must feel like he is free rolling in this tournament now after he was 3-0 down to Marco Fu in the previous round only to come through 4-3 with an insanely good comeback. What was most remarkable about that comeback though was that he never made a single 50 break in the entire match. Despite that comeback I think he is there for the taking for a Zhang Yong who has come through quite nicely so far. He saw off James Cahill on Wednesday but the two frames Cahill won he made centuries in so it wasn’t like the amateur was playing badly or anything like that. Zhang beat Anthony McGill in the first round so we know he is playing well. I think that comeback papered over a few cracks for Burden and fancy he’ll be sent packing here.
The second bet comes in the form of Jimmy Robertson who I think has the beating of Matthew Stevens. Stevens is much improved at the minute but Robertson has won a tournament this season in a format which was very similar to this one and that has to count for something here. Not only that but Robertson saw off Jack Lisowski with the minimum of fuss on Wednesday and that is a good result. Stevens has had two nice draws so far and has come through acceptably but without being flashy. Unless the Welshman ups his game I don’t expect him to come through here.
Back Z.Yong to beat A.Burden for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with Coral
Back him here:
Back J.Robertson to beat M.Stevens for a 4/10 stake at 1.90 with BetVictor
Back him here: