Snookerbacker

January 15, 2015

Masters Quarter Finals Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:17 am
Is today the day?

Is today the day?

The next two days see the Quarter Finals of The Masters after the first round concluded with victories yesterday for Mark Allen, who came through quite a match against John Higgins and Joe Perry who last night overcame Ding Junhui, who I still maintain isn’t playing in enough tournaments to be able to get any type of form going.

Without further ado, here is a look at the action over the next couple of days, Ronnie O’Sullivan is best priced 11/10 now to win outright, but there are seven other quality players that will have something to say about that.

In terms of the draw, it’s the top half that play down to semi-final line up today and the bottom half on Friday.

Click on the match for the head to head stats.

Thursday

1pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Marco Fu

There was a period a few years ago when the prospect of playing Marco would have filled Ronnie with dread. He seemed to have a unique way of getting under The Rocket’s skin and held his own with him in terms of the head to heads for many years. However, since the ‘new improved Steve Peters model Ronnie’ rose from the flames Marco has not beaten him, with Ronnie winning their latest meeting in the COC, 6-0. Marco couldn’t go into this with any more confidence though after his magical maximum on day one and a very good win over Bingham, though it has to be said Stuart was not at the races at all. Ronnie looked solid enough in the first round and despite taking his foot off the gas at 5-1 up, he still managed to dazzle at the end and leave the crowd in a state of euphoria, as well as JV needing gas and air. Just one more century today will put him at the top of the pile and JV in intensive care. You have to fancy him to nail it. I can’t see anything other than an O’Sullivan win here in front of a partisan crowd eager to be entertained and the odds against on there being more than one century, I would say is probably the bet, if he does it, he’ll probably do it in style.

Prediction: O’Sullivan 6-2.

Recommended Bet: 2 points on over 1 century at 6/5 with Bet 365.  

7pm
Ali Carter v Neil Robertson

Ali impressed in Round 1 and started his Masters campaign off with a bang, but Neil was more workmanlike in his first round match and said afterwards that he felt he could play himself into the tournament. Robbo holds the aces in the head to head and in their last meeting, Ali’s first competitive match back in Coventry where he turned up in Ricky Walden’s vast waistcoat and a pair of jeans having carelessly left his gear at home, Neil won 4-0 in some style. Indeed a look at the head to heads would lead you to believe that Ali is bang up against it here and the bookies have him as large as 9/4 to win, which I think is a tad on the big side given his first round showing. I get the feeling that this one could go to the wire and if it does it’s the toss of a coin. These type of matches are what winter Masters nights are all about, so settle back, put your feet up, put some candles on, whack the heating up, fix whatever takes your fancy on the liquid front and enjoy it, I think this will be the match of the round.

Prediction: Carter 6-5.

Recommended Bet: 2 points on the winning margin being under 2.5 frames at 5/4 with Paddies. 

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Friday

Allen

Hahaha. How am I winning this John?

1pm
Joe Perry v Mark Allen

Mark showed his trademark ‘never say die’ attitude in his epic win over Higgins, who must be left wondering what he has to do to win a big match. Allen in many ways was the last person John would have wanted to play in this, most players would have shat themselves a new arse the way Higgins started off, but not Allen, he’s nothing if not a fighter and has bags of bottle, he won a match that he probably shouldn’t have and if that’s not a confidence boost nothing is. Joe on the other hand went about his business against a clearly rusty Ding and that match always had an air of inevitability about it to me, it was just a case of Joe turning up and not losing focus, this he did professionally. Job done. Their head to heads, perhaps surprisingly have Joe with a decent advantage, though it has to be said that a lot of their encounters have been in smaller events over short formats. That said, Joe has won their last 3 meetings, 2 in EPTC’s and most recently a 6-4 win in the prestigious International Championship, so he won’t be going into this short of confidence. When looking at the match given all we know if I had to call the winner I’d plump with low confidence, for Allen, but again the winning margin bet appeals most to me in what could be another tight one.

Prediction: Allen 6-4.

Recommended Bet: 2 points on the winning margin being under 2.5 frames at 6/5 with Paddies.   

7pm
Stephen Maguire v Shaun Murphy

chalkDon’t forget your chalk Mags! There’s no love lost between these two old rivals and that always adds a bit of extra spice to the big matches. Since Shaun famously asked (well, told really) the referee to dock Mags a frame for his accessory blunder in the 2004 Grand Prix, possibly ill-judged on his part even though he was within his rights to do it, this is mentioned at every opportunity by shit-stirrers like me whenever their paths cross. They are, as you’d expect, pretty even when it comes to the head to head stats and there is no discernible trend in the bigger contests, with suprisingly few meetings between them on the very big occasions, given their standing in the sport. So what do we know? Murphy benefited from a poor Selby performance in the first round but played well enough to go 5-1 up before Selby’s trademark comeback. I thought Maguire played quite well in the end against Trump despite starting as poorly as I’ve seen him and I’m sure he’ll view that match as a bullet dodged. I just have a sneaking feeling that Mags will up the tempo now he’s got his poor session out of the way and I detected in the first match that he wasn’t beating himself up like he normally does, perhaps he’s mellowing with age. Who knows, if Shaun forgets his chalk maybe Mags might let him off? Forgive and forget? Yeah right.

Prediction: Maguire 6-4

Recommended Bet: 3 points on Maguire at 6/5 generally.   

THANKS AS EVER TO MONIQUE LIMBOS FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS, YOU CAN VIEW HER MASTERS SNAPS HERE.

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