Snookerbacker

April 21, 2010

World Championship Day Five Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:19 am

Lee has had the weight of the world on his shoulders lately

Wednesday sees the conclusion of four matches and the start of the final two first round matches involving seeds Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy who face Stephen Lee and Gerard Greene respectively.

Bettingwise, I get the feeling that things are beginning to turn in our favour again after a couple of early dodgy calls in the centuries markets early on. Mark Davis has started well against Ryan Day, Davis and King is close, Ding is running away with his match and thanks to Liang Wenbo the 6/4 bet at Skybet on the centuries in that match was landed. On top of this Robertson is firmly in command in his match. All good. I think we’ve turned the corner.

10am

Ding Junhui v Stuart Pettman (8-1 played to a conclusion)

As expected this is heavily one sided and the bet at under 15.5 frames now looks very likely. Ding looks sharp in the balls and is a player in this, there is no doubt about that.

I will confidently predict a Pettman comeback here, no, only kidding.

Ryan Day v Mark Davis (4-5 played to a conclusion)

A good start for Mark here against a seemingly uneasy Ryan Day. There is still plenty of snooker left in this one but on the evidence of the first session it is Davis that is looking more like the 1/3 shot. I’m very happy with the handicap bet and only need Mark to win two more to oblige and I even managed to get 6/1 on Davis on Betfair when he was 0-2 down. All to play for, could end up very very close this one.

2.30pm

Neil Robertson v Fergal O’Brien (6-3 played to a conclusion)

Again, happy with the recommended bet on this one. Neil has bigger fish to fry this week and remains on course for a date with John Higgins in the Quarter-Finals. I should think this one will be over sooner rather than later.

Maguire - Under Fire

Stephen Maguire v Stephen Lee

The penultimate first round match gets under way with two players that have attracted headlines for other reasons over the last few weeks. Maguire in particular may find it difficult to put his off-table issues to the back of his mind given last weeks announcements, while Stephen Lee, I’d assume has heard the last of his dealings with the police and can probably concentrate on the task in hand. A very informed person still thinks that this is the ideal draw for Lee, who beat Maguire 6-0 in their last encounter 5 years ago. A week ago I’d have disagreed with him but now I’m not so sure. Lee qualified with ease beating Mike Dunn 10-2 and will come into this match with his tail up. I’ll stop short of predicting an upset as I think Maguire will cope better with the playing conditions as Lee has been out of the limelight now for a while, but at the price the handicap bet on Stevie L may be worth a punt. So I’ll tentatively go with Stephen Lee (+3.5 frames 5/6 Sportingbet)

7pm

Shaun Murphy v Gerard Greene

Gerard Greene got to this stage by virtue of a gritty fightback against blog favourite Rory McLeod, who is a tough proposition in the qualifiers. The last time these two met was in 2009 when Murphy came through in the UK 9-5. But Murphy, by his own high standards has had a very bad season. On the one-year ranking list he is currently world number 20, an incredible fall from grace much like that suffered by his fellow shock world champion from the last decade Graeme Dott. His opponent Greene lies just one place below him at 21, so this might be a more evenly matched game than the bookies prices suggest. You used to be able to rely on Murphy in first round matches, he was one of the first names you would put on your accumulator, regardless of his opponent, but this year he has lost three first round matches to Barry Pinches, Matthew Stevens and Nigel Bond, all of whom it could be argued are not as good as Greene. Gerard has been here before, four times and has never won a match so that might take some getting over. I’m marginally siding with Murphy for this but if the first session finishes any worse than 6-3 in his favour I think he’ll get edgy. So the recommended bet is:

Recommended Bet: Gerard Greene (+4.5 frames 3/4 Sportingbet)

Peter Ebdon v Graeme Dott (2-7 played to a conclusion)

A fantastic session of snooker last night from Dott means the one blot on the copybook at the moment is my slightly ambitious punt on Ebdon, but at 1-4 in this I plumped for an ambitious about turn and backed Dott in the outrights at 169/1 as I’ve always thought the winner of this match would be a contender. It looks like he will now be outside the top 16 next year and that Graeme may well be back in there. But this is Ebdon, you just never know.

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