Home Snooker Betfred World Snooker Championship Spherical 2 Preview

Betfred World Snooker Championship Spherical 2 Preview

Betfred World Snooker Championship Spherical 2 Preview


A venue like no different (photograph courtesy of Steven Hallworth)

As fast as a flash we now head into the second spherical at The Crucible, the primary spherical has produced some wonderful performances, most notably for me from the maestro Mark Williams and the 2 children Zhao Xintong and Jackson Web page.

Having been to Sheffield for the opening day there was a palpable air of pleasure and reduction to be again to normality amongst the snooker group. I feel that’s positively feeding into the ambiance inside the world. Sadly this has not put a cease to the fixed and admittedly tedious debate yearly about transferring it someplace else.

It solely ever appears to be the gamers which have underperformed there that increase this concern. Even the beforehand tongue-in-cheek criticism aimed on the venue by Mark Williams has been corrected by the person himself who having watched his second spherical opponent Web page from the balcony seats proclaimed it one of the best venue for snooker on the circuit with a ‘nice view type (sic) wherever #youfogetuntilyouwatchfto@insode (sic)‘ 

So we are able to now stay up for the Final 16 which incorporates as you’d anticipate a number of matches that ‘could possibly be finals’ in another occasion, so let’s see who’s battling it out from right here on in.

As ever, click on on the match to take you to the Head to Head report courtesy of the superb Cue Tracker.


Mark Selby v Yan Bingtao (Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am and 7pm)

There are a lot who’re already writing off Selby’s probabilities this yr and have been fast to level out his errors in his opening match. However that’s form of what Selby does right here, he by no means actually seems to be like steamrollering anybody, significantly within the early rounds, he simply will get the job performed and to me his workmanlike efficiency towards Jones noticed off a really harmful participant taking part in his C sport, not many different gamers right here can do this. Yan had an early scare towards Chris Wakelin and was spectacular in the best way he accelerated away when the strain was on, he’s additionally crushed Selby on their previous three conferences so clearly that is one which the Chinese language participant will fancy his probabilities in. Yan is aiming to make the Quarter Finals for the primary time in his profession whereas Selby seems to be to make the one-table state of affairs for the third yr on the spin. Regardless that I flagged up Selby because the winner within the preview, I wouldn’t be a bit stunned if Yan managed to ship him packing right here, but when Selby can come via this check, he’s nonetheless bang in competition for a fifth title.  

Prediction: Yan 13-9

Jackson Web page v Mark Williams (Thursday 1pm, Friday 10am and 7pm)

An excellent first spherical efficiency by each Welshmen earns them the best to conflict over one of the best of 25 right here. The person Williams refers to as his ‘fourth son’ blew Barry Hawkins away in Spherical One in some of the spectacular Crucible debuts for a few years. The established knowledge of maintaining your distance out of your opponent and taking part in your playing cards near your chest has been thrown to the wolves with these two. They continue to be joined on the hip in and across the venue, the one playing cards being saved shut being those they gamble their night meals collectively on. Williams himself was superior within the first spherical and if he retains up that type he’ll take some stopping. As one shrewd pundit mentioned the opposite day, the shut proximity and relationship between the 2 gained’t section Williams one bit on the subject of going into battle, all the chance is on Jackson in that division. However my guess is that a part of Williams’ legendary laid again temperament may have rubbed off on him and I anticipate this to be a no-holds barred affair. Simply by advantage of MJW’s vastly superior expertise and tactical acumen he’ll in all probability win, however it is going to have valuable little to do with the unconventional preparation that each of them have undertaken.     

Prediction: Williams 13-10

Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham (Sunday 10am and 7pm, Monday 1pm)

Contrasting first spherical matches for these two towards Chinese language opponents noticed Bingham come via unscathed and unchallenged towards Lyu whereas Kyren had a battle royale with Ding. They met at this stage in 2017 when Kyren raced off right into a 5-0 lead earlier than being pegged again to 8-7, earlier than ultimately profitable 13-10. I feel Kyren is a greater participant now than he was again then, particularly within the break-building division which is the world that in my view has elevated him into the higher echelons of the sport. Bingham is one other who hits tons for enjoyable so the guess on this match is most positively the overs on the centuries market. When it comes to a consequence, given what I’ve simply written there’s nothing to recommend historical past gained’t repeat itself and Kyren gained’t prevail once more, although they’ve had two very shut matches since on the Masters, every profitable one. Could possibly be a cracker this one.   

Prediction: Wilson 13-12

Anthony McGill v Judd Trump (Saturday 2.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm, Monday 7pm)

Two pretty mediocre performances in Spherical 1 noticed these two progress as the trendy day Crucible large killer McGill makes an attempt so as to add Judd to his record of victims down the years. They’ve by no means met over something longer than one of the best of seven so the 6-1 face to face in Judd’s favour might be finest taken with a pinch of salt. Of the 2, McGill had the most important check in Spherical 1 and got here via ultimately by advantage of a fluke on his option to clear to win, however he’d saved Liam Highfield at arms size all through the match and scrapped to the win. Judd however appeared OK by his requirements however was helped by a poor efficiency by Hossein. I’d anticipate them each to play higher on this match but it surely’s not one which on paper I can get too enthusiastic about, no consequence on this would shock me however I feel there’s in all probability worth in backing McGill who will have the ability to exploit any errors Judd makes  lot higher than his final opponent did. So let the Crucible Large Slayer, the Smiling Murderer, the Glaswegian Gladiator or no matter you need to name him, get to work once more.       

Prediction: McGill 13-11


Neil Robertson v Jack Lisowski (Saturday 7pm, Sunday 2.30pm, Monday 7pm)

These two met at this stage final yr with Robbo operating out a reasonably snug 13-9 winner having solely been behind by the odd body early within the match earlier than pulling clear. Certainly the face to face right here is fairly telling with the Aussie main 6-0. What’s attention-grabbing is that every one their earlier 4 conferences have been multi-session matches with Neil popping out on prime every time. When it comes to type, Robbo appeared fairly good in patches in his first spherical having survived an early scare however he was by no means actually going to lose that match and the true checks lie forward. He got here off babbling one thing about having the Crucible because the centre courtroom, just like the tennis, with one other venue someplace else in Sheffield holding another matches for the plebs, I’m unsure that concept will take off irrespective of what number of instances he says it. Jack went via a number of pairs of underpants to lastly put Matthew Stevens out of his distress and his new mentor Peter Ebdon could possibly be seen marching previous purposefully behind him with what appeared like Del Boy’s filofax in his hand, presumably with notes on the match to debate at size along with his pupil, seen to the extra eagle-eyed viewer was one web page in massive pink letters proclaiming ‘GROW A PAIR FFS’. Anyway, head to heads don’t lie and I actually can’t see Jack overturning these stats right here. Neil appears to be having fun with the early levels and that’s not excellent news for the remainder of the sector.    

Prediction: Robertson 13-8

Noppon Saengkham v John Higgins (Sunday 10am and 7pm, Monday 1pm)

Positively one other match to have take a look at the centuries markets, each devastating scorers when within the balls, these two may have an actual break-fest right here I reckon. They’ve met 6 instances over time, by no means greater than a better of 9 but it surely’s 3 apiece. Apparently, their most up-to-date conferences since 2019 sees Noppon forward 3-1 so Higgins will know that his opponent presents a hazard to him. I did discover it odd that the BBC and to some extent Eurosport classed Noppon’s win over Luca a shock, for all the explanations I gave within the authentic preview, I believed the Thai was a cracking guess. Higgins within the meantime held off a spirited effort from Thepchaiya kncoking in three tons and a 98, so he’s clearly feeling up for it right here as soon as extra and stays lots of people’s fancy for the title. I feel Noppon has an opportunity right here and I used to be all for flagging him up once more, however I had a niggle simply in the best way he failed to shut out the match towards Luca sooner, that’s in all probability too essential on my half but when he will get in that state of affairs towards Higgins he must be much more ruthless, so on stability I feel Higgins will in all probability prevail, look out for these breaks although.   

Prediction: Higgins 13-8 

Zhao Xintong v Stephen Maguire (Thursday 7pm, Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am)

On the danger of going all JP on you, I’d not seen Zhao play stay till final Saturday and I be part of the legions of admirers in saying that he appears to have all the pieces wanted to be a world champion. His calming manner across the desk distracts from the ruthlessness and pace with which he despatches opponents, he barely ever performs the fallacious shot and appears to let nothing section him. The truth that Ronnie has helped him in a single particular space that he’s not ready to inform anybody about makes me suppose that he has corrected the one a part of his sport which may have been troubling him. As for Maguire, he little doubt benefitted from a poor efficiency by Shaun Murphy in Spherical 1 however he did all he needed to do to win and break a sample of first spherical defeats right here, if you take a look at his Crucible report he’s misplaced within the first spherical in 7 of the final 9 years which for a participant of his normal may be very poor certainly. This match is all about if Zhao can kick on additional and I feel he can, this child is the true deal and a serious contender for the title even at this early stage in his profitable profession. I feel you’ll wrestle to search out any common snooker watchers who don’t anticipate him to win right here, so it will likely be attention-grabbing to see how he handles being favorite towards a longtime professional with a fairly intimidating presence on the most important stage of all of them.       

Prediction: Zhao 13-8

Mark Allen v Ronnie O’Sullivan (Friday 10am and 7pm, Saturday 2.30pm) 

The final time these two met it was a nasty tempered affair within the Champion of Champions. As ever when tempers come into it Ronnie was dropping and argued with Allen for over a minute about his positioning when he was down on his shot, Mark coming via the match 6-3 ultimately. Going again 13 years we noticed a fresh-faced Allen overcome Ronnie at this stage 13-11 in a memorable match. It appeared inevitable then that Allen could be a world champion sooner relatively than later, however because it turned out that may be the one yr he made the one-table state of affairs to today, regardless of a profitable profession away from The Crucible. You’ll be able to solely hope for Allen’s sake that this match invokes the spirit and combat he had again then to make historical past repeat itself. Who would have thought all that point in the past that 13 years later O’Sullivan would nonetheless be Number one on this planet? Ronnie himself appears in advantageous fettle and has a digicam crew following him across the venue, presumably desirous to witness at first hand the yr snooker’s greatest draw equalled Hendry’s tally of world titles in Oasis-style documentary format. While I do suppose Allen shall be impressed right here and luxuriate in popping out because the underdog I feel Ronnie is simply taking part in a bit too properly in the intervening time to go dwelling simply but.    

Prediction: O’Sullivan 13-9



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