Barry Hawkins v Li Hang: Hawkins (-2.5) – 4/6
This pair only played on three occasions and it’s tight on the head-to-head.
Hawkins leads it 2-1, but Li Hang always puts up a bit of a decent show. I reckon Hawkins will be massively improved in this tournament though, and I’m going with him to cover the (-2.5) frame handicap in this one.
Kyren Wilson v Scott Donaldson: Wilson to win – 1/5
Scott Donaldson made it here beating China’s Lu Ning by 10 frames to nine in the last round of qualifying. We were all watching it, and he just managed to sneak through. He looked like he was going to win easily; he got pegged back and then won an absolute thriller.
He’s got Kyren Wilson, who was messing around with his cue action a little bit earlier in the season.
Thankfully, he’s gone back to doing what he did best before and he’ll believe he’s got a chance in this year’s championship. I expect him to beat Scott Donaldson here.
Jack Lisowski v Ali Carter: Carter to win – Evens
This is a real cracking match. Jack Lisowski has massively improved and is a very attacking player.
He’s had some decent results of late. He comes through and played against Neil Robertson in the China Open final the other week.
He wasn’t quite good enough to win, but nevertheless, he’s producing some great stuff. He faces Ali Carter, who’s got a Crucible pedigree, in the first round.
Twice a finalist in Sheffield, unfortunately for Carter both times in those finals he met Ronnie O’Sullivan. So, he could have easily been a world champion at this stage. There’s nothing to choose between the two of them, it’s 4/5 for Lisowski or Evens for Carter. At the prices, I’m going to side with Carter though.
* All odds correct at time of posting.