On paper this looks like it’s going to be a brilliant match. Ronnie O’Sullivan is the big odds-on favourite to win it, but I can’t see why. He hasn’t been practising – he said he’s given up practising because he wants to treat the game like a hobby.
He turns up to these tournaments and uses the table time for practice in the opening rounds. He’s not going to have the time to do that here. He’s arriving cold and is playing a well practised Ding Junhui who’s in good cue, and I think Ding can really put it up to O’Sullivan.
Wednesday 1pm: Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui
BBC Two, Eurosport 1 and iPlayer
Last year Ronnie just decided he didn’t want to play in this tournament – there was no reason for it – and I don’t think the snooker gods are going to be too forgiving. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Ding Junhui and I think on the Handicap (+2.5) he’s just irresistible.
He’ll win at least four frames in the afternoon session and I think he’ll probably beat O’Sullivan but I think the safer play is on the handicap. We all know The Rocket has the ability if he turns up and it’s like riding a bike for him. I think Ding can win four frames at the very least and Ding (+2.5) on the handicap is the play.
This is a tricky match up and I’ve already decided to sit on the fence for this one, although statistically the last three times these two players have played in The Masters, Mark Allen has won all three. If anyone’s going just on statistics I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Mark Allen to win this.
However, I think the way to view this match is that John Higgins played in the Championship League last week here at Milton Keynes and played very well. His eye is in and is one of the best match players in the game.
Wednesday 7pm: John Higgins v Mark Allen
Eurosport 1, BBC Four, iPlayer and Red Button
We all know that Mark Allen is full of flair and is a big break builder and a recent winner of this tournament, of course his first triple crown victory was The Masters a few years ago. But I think the play here has to be for this match to go close to going the distance.
I think 6-4 or 6-5 each way has to be the play and of course Paddy has all these different markets available and a very simple Over 9.5 Frames in the Match has to be the play here. You just want the loser to win four frames and the cash is in the bank.
Masters Snooker tips for Wednesday
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