We are all set for a Super Saturday in the World Championship as the final tournament of the season continues inside the Crucible Theatre on a day which has a mouth-watering cast list over the course of the three sessions.
The tournament is still reeling from the exit of the defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on Friday and on Saturday the likes of Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy all take to the baize looking to avoid following him out of the event.
Day 7 Recap
It was Anthony McGill who dumped Ronnie O’Sullivan out of the tournament in a dramatic deciding frame having seen a 10-6 lead eroded to trail 11-10 and 12-11 before two outstanding clearances in the last two frames meant that he is the first man into the quarter finals. Three other matches saw action over the course of Friday with Neil Robertson leading Jack Lisowski 9-7 overnight and Kyren Wilson ahead of Barry Hawkins by the same score ahead of their final session. Mark Williams leads John Higgins 5-3 overnight.
In Play Betting
We have three matches to go at from an in play point of view on Saturday but the Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins match I already have a bet which will hopefully land and the same applies to the Mark Williams and John Higgins clash. The Neil Robertson vs Jack Lisowski match is a little too delicately poised for me to get stuck into although something tells me that Lisowski fancies the fight in this match and if you get Robertson deep in this event you can often be rewarded. The early frames are a little too important there to justify me betting so I’ll sit this one out.
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Mark Allen vs Mark Selby (Saturday 2.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm & Monday 7pm)
There are two matches in the second round which take place over the course of three days and the first of those begins on Saturday afternoon when the Champion of Champions winner Mark Allen meets the three-time world champion Mark Selby in a cracking looking contest.
Both these men were in fine form in their first round matches but neither of their opponents really turned up and all the succeeded in doing was making it pretty easy for Allen and Selby to come through and set up this contest. It looks like both are playing well in which case we should be in for another close battle, which is fast becoming a trend of this round, but I’m going to have a watch of the first session to make sure that is the case and that neither were flattered by weak opposition. This is definitely one I have for the in play shortlist later in the contest.
Shaun Murphy vs Yan Bingtao (Saturday 7pm, Sunday 2.30pm & Monday 7pm)
The second match to get underway on Saturday is the other one which stretches a full three days as the former champion of this tournament Shaun Murphy goes up against the winner of The Masters at the beginning of the year in Yan Bingtao.
Both men came through first round matches which were close at the end of the first session before they pulled away in the second one and it will be interesting to see if this follows a similar path. Murphy seems to make the final here when the year ends in five having won it in 2005 and losing out to Stuart Bingham in 2015 while Bingtao is looking to do deep in the tournament for the first time. Inexperience might be an issue for the Chinese ace but we were meant to expect that to be the case throughout The Masters and he didn’t take any notice of it there and I don’t envisage that changing here.
I like Bingtao to come through this match. Murphy is just too loose for my liking. His safety is very average for a top player these days and he loses position too regularly for my liking. Bingtao can roll over anyone when he is in a groove but he has a decent B game as he showed at times at The Masters and over the 25 frames here where it is impossible to be in top form throughout, that could be the difference. It is Bingtao for me here.
Back Y.Bingtao to beat S.Murphy for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Boylesports
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