The second-round of the World Snooker Championship is underway and big-hitters Judd Trump, John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan have, so far, kept their hopes of lifting the Crucible crown alive.
There are some tasty round two ties and Mark Allen’s clash against Mark Selby on Saturday looks like being a cracker.
Three-time World Champion Selby was pretty much untroubled when beating Kurt Maflin 10-1 in the opening round, and in terms of scoreline, that was the most impressive performance of the tournament so far. However, Allen was a 10-2 winner over Lyu Haotian and the Pistol looks up to causing Selby more problems than the prices may suggest.
Allen can Upset Selby
Of course, Selby is a master of the long-format Crucible contests but he is up against a cueman who has the ability to challenge for further major honours.
The Antrim Ace made the semi-final in Sheffield in 2009 but recents visits to the Crucible have proved rather less successful. However, Allen won the Masters in 2018 and the Pistol performed brilliantly when lifting the Champions of Champions crown last year.
Allen seems in a good place and if his break-building in the first round is anything to go by, he looks up to rewarding supporters at
Stuart Bingham wriggled past Ding Junhui 10-9 in the first-round, but at
11/5 it could pay to back Jamie Jones to end his run when they meet on Sunday.
Bingham Faces Tough Jones Test
Jones burst onto the scene when making the quarter-finals of the 2012 World Championship and it’s a surprise that he has made just two Crucible appearances since.
It’s fair to say that the Welshman hasn’t quite delivered on his talent but there’s plenty of snooker left in the 33-year-old.
The Welsh Warrior returned to the tour when winning Q-School last year and he showed his class when reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Open in December.
There’s not a huge amount expected of Jones in this match, as the prices indicate, and with the pressure firmly on Bingham that could see the Welshman outrun his odds.
Gilbert can Pose Trump Problems
Trump takes on Dave Gilbert on Sunday and the Tamworth potter looks a great bet at
10/13 getting a 5.5-frame start from the Ace.
Of course, Trump is a brilliant performer and it’s a huge ask to expect Gilbert to upset the Bristol cueman. However, the Tamworth man is such an excellent break-builder it is hard to see him not at least remaining competitive.
Gilbert made runs of 60, 84, 90, 100, 111 and 132 in his first-round match against Chris Wakelin, and although he is likely to face more resistance from Trump, that sort of scoring-power can see him stay in the game.
*All odds correct at time of writing