The first week of the World Championship ends on Friday with more action from the second round of the tournament on a day in which the first quarter finalist will be crowned at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
The cast list for Friday could scarcely be better with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and John Higgins all on the card and there are some tasty side options along with them as well on what should be another great day of snooker.
Day 6 Recap
The final two first round matches came to an end on Thursday with Shaun Murphy overturning a 5-4 deficit to come past Mark Davis 10-7. The other game ended as quickly as it was expected to as Mark Selby wasted no time in picking up the two frames he needed to get past Kurt Maflin 10-1. The second round also started on Thursday and it did so with a brilliant first session between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Anthony McGill which ended 4-4 while Neil Robertson picked up a 5-3 overnight lead against Jack Lisowski.
In Play Betting
There are two matches that are currently in progress and I am going to get involved in one of them. I’m going to leave the Neil Robertson vs Jack Lisowski match alone because the first session of that was very strange in terms of quality and I’m not sure what to expect on Friday. I’ll focus on the other one between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Anthony McGill though, which will resume at 4-4, where I like McGill with the 3.5 frame start.
I suspect McGill took the best that O’Sullivan has to offer on Thursday and he brushed it off and got back to getting back into the match. That brings a really interesting psychological aspect to this match and it might be that the stronger mentally is the one that comes through here. McGill looks bang up for this tournament and whether he wins the match or is edged out remains to be seen but at no point in this match will O’Sullivan play better than he did in the opening four frames and McGill still ended the session level. He now knows he can take the best of Ronnie and come back with good stuff of his own. I waited until the end of the first session to see if McGill was ready to slug it out with Ronnie. He is and I expect him to reach double figures from here if not get to the required 13 frames.
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Barry Hawkins vs Kyren Wilson (Friday 10am, Friday 7pm & Saturday 2.30pm)
While O’Sullivan and McGill settle their differences in one half of the Crucible Theatre, across the divide potentially the closest looking match of the round will be being played out as Barry Hawkins goes up against Kyren Wilson.
Both these men came through their opening round challenges in pretty decent order which makes me think we could be in for a very close match. The pair met in this round a couple of years ago and Wilson won it 13-11. Since then their only two proper meetings have both gone to a deciding frame over the best of seven so we are likely to get a couple of tight session ahead of the final one here. Both these players will believe they are contenders for the title, and rightly so, and they’ll know they need to battle to make it through here. I expect to see more than 21.5 frames in this one where 13-10 or close either way gets us a winning bet.
John Higgins vs Mark Williams (Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am & Saturday 7pm)
The standout tie of the second round is the one which begins on Friday afternoon when two members of the Class of 92 with seven world titles to their name meet in a repeat of the 2018 final as John Higgins takes on Mark Williams.
Williams came out on top in that final three years ago, which was the last time they have met over a significant 15 red match so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Higgins showed in the Players Championship that he can dismantle any field but he was way below par in the first round here and needs a real improvement if he is going to win this one. Williams arrived here in confident touch and looked pretty good against Sam Craigie in the opening round, and gave off the impression that there was still more to come from him. I think Williams is playing with a little more freedom right now and he looks overpriced in this one.
WON – Back A.McGill (+3.5 frames) to beat R.O’Sullivan for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with William Hill
Back him here:
WON – Back B.Hawkins vs K.Wilson – Over 21.5 frames for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with Boylesports
Back it here:
WON – Back M.Williams to beat J.Higgins for a 3/10 stake at 2.50 with BetVictor
Back him here: