April 23, 2010

Day Eight Preview: Can Davis Do It?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:52 pm

He Couldn't. Could he?

A week into this great championship and it’s beginning to bubble up very nicely. The obvious highlight comes this morning when former King of the Crucible Steve Davis attempts to boot the current champ John Higgins out of the event.

Saturday sees conclusions to Higgins v Davis, Robertson v Gould and Maguire v Dott. It seems strange to say but the potential match of the round O’Sullivan v Williams may not be the main talking point when the action is done today. But it’s unlike Ronnie to be upstaged so might we see something special there? Who knows?

But for anyone totally focused on a Davis win, before the Ginger Magician takes to the stage you might like to step back into a bygone age over a cup of hot tea and a piece of toast and read my first of three Crucible countdowns by clicking here. Or as another option have a look for my Crucible Countdowns until the web host sorts the link out.


John Higgins v Steve Davis (7-9 Final Session)

What can you say about Davis that hasn’t already been said. Friday was hard work for him but from somewhere he managed to win the last frame of the session to keep the lead he has held since the beginning of the match. The nation will be watching and willing him to win. I don’t think he will but I’m not going to let that stop me cheering him on. If he wins, it will be lump in the throat time for eighties snooker devotees across the world and a little slice of happiness in what is a very different world today in so many ways. In the immortal words of Jack Karnehm ‘Good Luck Mate’.

Stephen Maguire v Graeme Dott (1-7 Second Session)

Right, enough of all that nostalgic rubbish and let’s get back to gambling talk. Dotty was absolutely brilliant again in the first session, just as he was against Ebdon and is now very much the dark horse of this tournament, did I mention I’ve backed him at 169/1? Well if I didn’t I’ll probably keep on mentioning it until he loses, if he does. Hopefully some of you followed the advice of the previous thread and backed him in this match. He shouldn’t let a lead this big slip and I’m afraid Maguire’s misery is set to continue.


Neil Robertson v Martin Gould (5-11 Final Session)

Gould is freakish at the moment. A very boring quarter final awaits unfortunately and not the one the fans wanted. It’s been a bad day for Robbo please don’t take a picture. The only chance that Robertson has now is if Gould folds, I can’t see any real sign that he will.

Ronnie marked our card and told us not to back him

Mark Williams v Ronnie O’Sullivan

Head to Heads since 1996 – 5-14

Last relevant meeting: 6-5 O’Sullivan 2010 Masters Semi Finals

It’s quite a statistic that Mark has not beaten Ronnie since 2002 and has lost all of their 9 meetings since then. He seems to be one of those players that Ronnie raises his game against. Despite the Rocket insinuating in his last post-match interview that Williams should be favourite, this is one time he doesn’t get his own way and it is him that starts favourite for the match with all the firms. He seemed to treat Liang Wenbo like a practice partner in the first round and realistically never looked really like losing. Williams looked a little edgy in the first session against Marcus Campbell but was solid enough in closing out the match in the end and this comes after his very strong performance in winning the China Open a couple of weeks ago. The two times that they have met here in the past have both been over this distance and have both been won by O’Sullivan, 13-7 and 13-11. Ronnie needs to at least match the performances of Carter and Robertson in this to be sure of staying at world number 2 next year while Williams has had a great season and is now back into the top eight and a ranking winner again after his years in the wilderness. It looks like it could be a classic and I hope O’Sullivan starts playing with a bit more passion, care and attention. If he does, I think there is only one result here. I am going to recommend two bets on this match.

Recommended Bet: Over 3.5 century breaks (11/10 Skybet)

Recommended Bet: Ronnie O’Sullivan to beat Mark Williams (1/2 Extrabet)

Perry - Coming back to form.


Allister Carter v Joe Perry

Head to Heads: 4-3. Last Relevant Meeting: China Open last month 5-3 to Carter

A lot of people don’t rate Ali Carter that highly, but he is ultra consistent and could end up this year as World Number 2. He has only won one ranking event but he is now becoming a regular at the business end of tournaments and his ranking is testament to that achievement. He came through the potentially tricky starter against Jamie Cope and now faces his old mate Perry. The two met here two years ago in a tight fought semi-final which the Captain won 17-15, so they do have some right old tussles. There is no doubt who goes into this in the best form, that’s Carter, but Joe has recorded his only two wins of the year recently and beat Michael Holt with a bit to spare in round one, to me he looks back to something resembling form. Amazingly for someone sitting at a provisional number two in the world Ali Carter sits somewhere in the forties when it comes to century break makers this season, with Perry still lower and neither made a century in their first round match. But I get the sense that the tables are playing a little kinder now so I’m going to take a chance that two very capable, grown up players can muster up at least two centuries in a potentially quite close best of 25 between them. In terms of the match itself I’d plump for Carter.

Recommended Bet: Over 1.5 centuries (5/6 Paddy Power)

Stephen Maguire v Graeme Dott (5-12 Final Session)

Taxi for Maguire! For anyone that didn’t see the amusing incident involving Michaela Tabb in this click here

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