Snookerbacker

November 27, 2010

Sunday from Sheffield: Match Previews

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:47 pm

It's not big and it most certainly is not clever

After far too much red wine, nice grub and great company on Friday evening when I should have been at home laying off in-play on Dave Gilbert I have spent today feeling quite ropey and very sorry for myself. Despite my protests Mrs SB ‘has no sympathy’ for her stupid, idiotic husband.

Despite a bit of a comedown bettingwise on Friday after ‘Super Thursday’ the recommended steam in on Xiao Guodong meant that the profits didn’t take too much of a dent. I very rarely deviate from the 1 point win for a recommended match bet but felt that he was just too good to miss. After the first two rounds we are still well in front on the recommended bets (12.33 points) so let’s not let a couple of losers get us down, none of us can win them all. I hope you are all having a decent week so far too.

Tomorrow sees Round Three get under way and a few more recognisable faces taking to the baize including the Sheriff Anthony Hamilton, Bananaman Dave Harold and old Willy Wonka himself Dominic Dale. They take on the names that have been tussling away these past few days to try and make that leap up the rankings.

Let’s see what we can find shall we? I want those bookies running for cover again, we ain’t quite finished with them yet.

Remember, if you don’t have accounts with Skybet or Paddy Power and you are in the UK/Ireland, click the links either in this paragraph or on the right hand side bar to open an account and take advantage of introductory offers to get more on your selections for nowt.

All prices are correct at time of writing and where the players have met before, the head to head stats are included in each match post.

10.00 am & 7pm

Fergal O’Brien v Jamie Jones

Fearless Fergal takes on the dangerous and improving Welshman Jones. Jamie impressed in the last round with a 9-6 victory over the in-form Joe Jogia and will be full of confidence here. Fergal however is another tough opponent who I have detected is beginning to play rather well recently. In the PTC’s he’s been quite consistent losing only twice in the first round and making a semi-final. He’s a good match player is our Fergs and a real student of snooker, he’s better over the longer distances and he’ll not be phased by the furore surrounding his opponent who it has to be said is having a cracking start to the season. I’m favouring Fergal but it could be very tight.

Nigel Bond v Peter Lines (H2H 3-1)

The first time these two met as professionals was back in the last century, in 1998 in the ‘then’ Liverpool Victoria UK Championship, Bond won 9-6. The last time they met that scoreline was reversed in the 2009 UK Championship qualifiers. Nigel won the two intervening match ups 5-3 and 10-6. In fact looking at the pattern of results, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see the frames averaged out again and one of them to win 9-6, but which one? Lines did us a favour the other day but this is a new day with a new challenge ahead, Nigel is better than his last opponent and he will have to play better to win this one. Another really tough call this but for me Bond will edge it, probably 9-6.

Anthony Hamilton v Rod Lawler (H2H 1-1)

Another tough one to call. Both previous meetings have been over the long distances and both have been close. They met twice in 2006 with the Sheriff winning 10-8 in qualifying for the Crucible and Rod winning 9-7 in this championship. Hamilton has made three quarter final and one final appearance in the PTC events and as a result has risen to a provisional ranking of 36. Rod took care of business in his first match, using the old ‘bore your opponent into submission’ tactics with a four and a half hour first session. I think when they are both in form Hamilton is the better player, so assuming he carries his PTC form and confidence into this I’m going to side with the Sheriff, but there is no value out there pricewise as this could be both a close and a long one.

I'm hoping for a Liu day.

Alan McManus v Liu Chaung (H2H 1-0)

Angles McManus, a former Masters champion has been toiling away in the PTC events with limited success over the summer. He did however qualify for the World Open and it was nice to see him back on the box, but he was soundly sent packing by Mags straight away. Chaung is another that has helped us out already this week, two comfortable wins against potentially tricky opponents and plenty of one visit frames lead me to believe that he is in a rich vein of form. McManus will rely on his trademark grit and determination to out think the Chinese funnyman here. I can’t see it working over the longer format and I think Liu will score too heavily and win this.

Recommended Bet: Liu Chaung 4/5 at Paddy Power

Dave Harold v James Wattana (H2H 0-3)

Can we read too much into this head to head statistic given that the last time they met was in 2004? Well, I’ll stick my neck out and say yes. Prior to this they hadn’t met for three years and prior to that they hadn’t met for four years. Watanna edged the result every time and that suggests to me that he isn’t the type of player to let Big Dave’s style of play affect him. After me saying in the last preview that James didn’t hit many breaks over 60 odd, he did hit two or three in his last match. Dave isn’t known for his breakbuilding either and I’m prepared to trust the history books on this one and go for the Thaiphoon.

Recommended Bet: James Watanna 5/4 at Stan James

Barry Pinches v Dave Gilbert (H2H 0-2)

I’m genuinely pleased to see Dave Gilbert coming back from the brink, his form coming into this was poor and sometimes just a couple of wins can completely change your outlook on the game. Now regulars on here will know that I have a history with Mr Pinches, nothing personal as by all accounts the Canary Cueist is a really decent chap (never met him, the therapist thinks it’s not a good idea) but him and me do not agree when it comes to me backing him or backing his opponent. It’s as if the minute I press ‘confirm bet’ on the screen a little gremlin pops in to Barry’s head telling him to do the exact opposite to what I want him to do. So, this time, I’m calling time on it, I am not going to humour him by making a prediction on this one, I refuse to do so. All I will say is that Baz has had a fantastic summer in the PTC’s and should come to this full of confidence. That’s not a tip by the way, I said it isn’t Barry, do you hear me?

2.30 pm

Robert Milkins v Matthew Couch (H2H 4-0)

The head to heads between these two span back from 2002 but they did meet recently in an EPTC event which new dad Milkins won 4-1. Couch managed to claw his way back in the last round to beat Paul Davies in a decider, hardly inspiring form coming into a match with someone you have never beaten. You can forgive Rob some patchy form given his new priorities in the summer, but nappies don’t grow on trees or buy themselves and he now needs to start earning a crust. Starting here. He’ll win this one, I’m pretty sure of that.

Recommended Bet: 2 points win Robert Milkins at 4/9 Skybet

Tom Ford v Tony Drago (H2H 3-1)

These two haven’t played each other for three years, largely due to Tony’s absence from the circuit before his stunning comeback last season, which brought him a well deserved Willie. Ford is the second of three PTC winners on show today and is a much improved player since he decided to knock the birds and booze lifestyle on the head and start becoming a snooker player. Well, the booze anyway, the birds kept asking him if he was Rob Walker. Tommyboy won his PTC without having to beat a player ranked above him but that should not take the gloss off it as those events take some winning. His last two European trips have resulted in defeats to John Higgins, which is obviously nothing to beat yourself up about. We all know that Drago can rattle off frames if he’s in the groove but I think Tom might put a stop to the Falcon’s progress here.

Dale: Wonka.

Dominic Dale v Matthew Selt (H2H 1-0)

The Spaceman aka Willy Wonka aka Christopher is the third PTC winner to be on show today and he takes on the conqueror of Jack Lisowski, Matt Selt. The only previous meeting between these two was back in January at the Welsh Open when proud boyo Dom ran out a comfortable 5-1 winner. He’s hit a bit of form recently and the PTC event saw him beating Martin Gould, Matthew Stevens, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson, so nobody can level the claim against him that he had it easy. Indeed in the final against Gould he needed snookers in the decider only to get them and win. He should progress here and I have him to make it to the venue.

Recommended Bet: Dom Dale at 8/15 Sportingbet

Rory McLeod v Kyren Wilson

A cracking win in the last round for Wilson against Ian McCulloch and he is one that is fulfilling his promise and grasping his first season as a pro with both hands. Rory ‘Where’s the Cameras?’ McLeod’s record in qualifiers is the stuff of legend but he’s not really been firing on all cylinders for a few months now. You wonder why he puts himself through it as he’s playing for the chance to play Robbo on TV here, I hope for all our sakes but mostly for Rory’s that he’s been in therapy to conquer that inner hacker that appears whenever someone shouts ‘Action!’ in his direction. I’ve got a sneaking feeling that this could be a surprise and that Wilson will progress again to the final qualifying round. But I’ll stop short of recommending it.

Sunday Roast Potato Multiple:

We’ve been doing well with the multiples so let’s see if Lui Chuang and Rob Milkins can land us a 2 point double at a shade over 6/4 with Paddy Power and then add Dom Dale for a 1 point treble which pays a shade over 11/4 again with Paddy Power.

I still haven’t had a good look at Monday’s starts but I’ll also recommend in advance a 3 point treble on Milkins, Marcus Campbell and Michael Holt at around 13/8 with Sportingbet. I just can’t see that losing, but I have been wrong before.

Good Luck to everyone having a bet.

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