Higgins Primed to Strike in Home Nations

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Can John Higgins claim the spoils in the Home Nations Series this week?

John Higgins

It’s a quick turnaround after a late finish of the UK Championship on Sunday night for the third installment of the Home Nations series.

The World Snooker Tour is still at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes for the seventh tournament of the season and it’s a Scotsman fancied to emerge victorious this week in the Scottish Open.

Wizard of Wishaw Ready to Conjure up Magic on the Baize

Four-time world champion John Higgins may not have been at his best last week at the UK Championship, but the draw has been incredibly kind to the 45-year-old for this event and he is backed to go all the way.

The current world number six has been far from sensational so far this season but there have been flashes of brilliance and he could be set to return to the winner’s enclosure this week.

Higgins, who has 30 ranking event titles to his name, reached the semi-finals of the English Open in October and the last-16 stage of the Northern Ireland Open last month.

This 128-man event, played over best-of-seven until the quarter finals, follows an identical format and, with an out-of-sorts Stuart Bingham the only other top-16 player in his way until the quarter finals, Higgins is set to go deep.

How Much Left in the Tank for Trump?

World number one Judd Trump unsurprisingly heads the betting, he has been nothing short of sensational so far this season.

Trump has qualified to the semi-final stage in all seven tournaments, he has reached four finals, winning both the English Open and the Northern Ireland Open – further extending an already impressive lead at the top of the ranking list.

But there were signs of tiredness and fatigue in Sunday’s late finish to the UK Championship final, he had the title at his mercy in the final frame and missed the vital final pink.

Trump rates the best player on the planet right now, but he is overlooked in this event along with UK Championship winner Neil Robertson, as both face tricky draws.

Lisowski Buoyed by Masters Slot

A run to the quarter finals in the UK Championship last week enabled the talented Jack Lisowski to leapfrog a number of players and earn a place in this season’s prestigious Masters.

The fluent left-hander is a joy to watch in full flow and rates one of the best players without a ranking event to his name.

Lisowski scored well last week and is clearly in good form, he is a player for punters to monitor in the coming weeks.

‘The Hawk’ Ready to Take Flight

Another player to catch the eye during the UK Championship was three-time ranking event winner Barry Hawkins.

The 41-year-old has struggled with his game over the last two years, but is beginning to find his stride and rates one of the bankers of the first round.

A silky scorer once in the balls, he should enjoy an open game with the attacking Stuart Carrington on Monday night and can cover the handicap at 5/7.

Get With Carter

Ali Carter is a better player than his current world ranking of 18 suggests and he showed his class during the Northern Ireland Open last month.

The two-time Crucible finalist has struggled with consistency in recent seasons, but has won his last three matches against first-round opponent Ryan Day.

Day has made a very moderate start to the new season and qualified pilot Carter is fancied to cruise through their match on Tuesday night and should be kept on side at 20/23.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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