Mark Williams (@1.8) vs Shaun Murphy (@2.0)
10-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Mark Williams will win

Mark Williams – Shaun Murphy Match Prediction | 10-09-2019 02:30

The 37 year-old is in the form of his life, breaking into the top 16 for the first time and reaching two ranking event finals during this campaign. Mark Williams and David Gilbert both booked their spots in the World Snooker Championship last 16 with hard-fought 10-7 victories. While reigning champion Williams is no stranger to this set-up, Gilbert has reached this stage for only the second time in his career. The duo was generally in control of their ties but still received a strong workout ahead of the second round, where the format will increase to the best of 25 frames played across three sessions. Gilbert is well capable of living with the three-time champion but the experience of Williams, not to mention his coolness under pressure, is what tips this outcome in his favour. One of those title deciders was against Williams, when the Welshman stormed back from 9-5 behind to deny the Englishman his maiden success in a decider. One wonders whether that result will have an impact on this match too.

Higgins, of course, is a four-time champion but lost in each of the last two finals in Sheffield. Bingham, with a brace of ranking titles to his credit this term, is a dark horse for this years title but Higgins credentials are vast and the longer he remains in the hunt the more dangerous a predator hell become. Higgins is a player who has been written off on so many occasions, only to predominantly bounce back and show his pedigree for the big-time. Against John Higgins, the Englishman will face a formidable opponent who is attempting to rediscover his winning mentality after a season of inner struggle. That he emerged from his initial task with a strong display against Mark Davis will be of some cause for concern for his rivals. Stuart Bingham said that he felt like he lost despite surviving a late onslaught from Graeme Dott to prevail in a Crucible classic. The Scots superior head-to-head record against Bingham, winning eight of their previous 11 fixtures, would indicate that the 43 year-old possibly has the number of the 2015 world champion. In an illustrious quarter of the draw that is packed with four former world champions, its important not to underestimate anyone.

Wilson boasts the right kind of temperament to be a strong performer in the World Championship. Now 40, the Hawk might not have too many more opportunities to threaten for the top honour, so hell be as motivated as ever to advance to the business stages. Kyren Wilson became the final player to reach the second round on Thursday, ensuring that the top half of the draw didnt lose a single seed. Hawkins has endured a disappointing term but theres something about the longer matches at the Crucible that coaxes the best out of him. After reaching the final in 2013, Hawkins has only failed to feature at the single table set-up once and even that year wasnt a disaster as he appeared in the last eight. In the last two years, the German Masters champion has made steady progress at the Crucible, with a couple of quarter-final appearances and a semi-final run in 2018 under his belt. Yet, Wilsons opponent Barry Hawkins is the king when it comes to consistency in the seasons showpiece. The Kettering cueist has a top level game that matches the high degree of patience required to achieve success in Sheffield.

John Higgins vs Stuart Bingham

The latter was delighted to edge Luca Brecel in a gruelling last frame to move beyond the opening hurdle for the first time in his career. Now that the three-time world champion is up and running, he could become a more formidable proposition, particularly as his draw is becoming kinder and kinder by the day. In a repeat of the 2015 China Open final, Selby entertains fellow Englishman Gary Wilson. Mark Selby successfully negotiated a potential banana skin in the last 32 when he fought back from 5-1 down to deny the talented Zhao Xintong. Potential quarter-final opponent Mark Allen bowed out on Wednesday and Selbys next challenger is a player hes never lost to. Yet, even though Selbys form has been patchy for quite some time, its difficult to envisage him slipping up here. Wilson is a solid competitor but is lacking in every department when compared to the world number two. It might sound obvious to say but, like Higgins in the opposite side of the draw, the further Selby advances the more credible a serious contender hes going to become.

Maguire lost six out of the eight first round ties he played in the World Championship before this year and it looked like 2019 was going to follow a similar path when he needed snookers from 9-7 behind against Tian Pengfei. An unbelievable fluke led to his turnaround and Maguire will be thinking that this is a golden opportunity to make a return to the second week of the championship. Cahill was underestimated once so its important not to make that mistake again, but Maguire would still be expected to take advantage. So much attention has surrounded James Cahills upset of the pre-tournament favourite. Cahill, the first amateur to ever qualify, has never before contested a match of this length and, at any rate, it generally proves difficult for giant-killers to substantiate their initial surprise in the following round. The Glaswegian, somewhat like Trump and Ding, has been a failure in this tournament after a career full of early promise. Stephen Maguire, who three times lost to OSullivan in prior World Championships, must have been secretly delighted with the result that sent the Rocket packing. The 23 year-old has been constantly in demand and in the news, so it is a wonder how he will have managed to maintain his focus with another tough match to come.

Two of this eras best cueists to never etch their names onto the most prestigious silverware, one of them will be left disappointed again for another year. In the past, this might have troubled Trump but the 2011 runner-up, a year in which he beat Ding in a truly memorable semi-final affair, boasts a much more rounded temperament now and is less likely to be as fazed by such taxing tactics. In judgement of their first round matches alone, Ding would probably have just about swung it. There are compelling ties all the way through the World Snooker Championship last 16 draw. Trump was fortunate that his opponent Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, blessed with talent though he may be, cracked under the pressure as the winning line came into view. Ding, on the other hand, has achieved nothing of note since reaching the final of last seasons World Grand Prix. But surely the most eye-catching of them all is the meeting between Judd Trump and Ding Junhui. The Chinese number ones game has transformed over the years and, although he still has the ability to score heavily, Ding relies far too heavily on winning frames that become drawn out and scrappy. Reflecting on the campaign overall, however, and it is easier to come up with the conclusion that the Englishman is the man more likely to progress. The 29 year-old secured glory in two ranking events either side of his landmark January triumph in the Masters at Ally Pally.

The latter, who has undergone an immense improvement overall since an embarrassing 13-1 second round thrashing at the hands of John Higgins last year, was very poor and Carter gratefully took advantage. In the first round preview, it was queried whether Ali Carter had been properly tested in the qualifiers, having not met a player ranked higher than number 78. Against Zhou Yuelong, the 39 year-old will be the favourite and a second successive quarter-final appearance beckons for the Captain. In many respects, the 2008 and 2012 runner-up still hasnt been put under it despite being drawn with the recent China Open finalist Jack Lisowski in the last 32. Zhou is among a group of four or five young Chinese competitors who are on the cusp of emerging into the big-time. For the majority of his opening task, Zhou performed well but was perhaps somewhat fortuitous that he encountered a Mark Allen who opted not to turn up until he was 9-2 behind. Beating Carter would certainly be a momentous step for the 21 year-old former world amateur champion to take, but its difficult to look beyond the Englishmans vast experience at this stage.

World Snooker Championship Last 16

The Australians only defeats in that spell were to Ronnie OSullivan and that obstacle has already been taken care of. The second battle of former world champions in this bracket sees Shaun Murphy face the man in form Neil Robertson. The true test of his renewed form will now ultimately be put to the test. Simply, the answer is no. Has there ever been a World Snooker Championship last 16 clash that has featured two players who have conceded so few frames? Robertson is undoubtedly one of the favourites for this years crown after reaching the final in the last four ranking events he contested during the campaign, while capturing two trophies. Robertson hasnt really threatened properly at the Crucible since his triumph nine years ago so, in many respects, its about time he made a return to the latter stages. Murphy inflicted the first bagel at the Crucible in 27 years on poor Luo Honghao while Robertson almost repeated the trick against Michael Georgiou, letting the side down by dropping the penultimate frame en route to a 10-1 hiding of the Cypriot. After a dreadful season, Murphy will be buoyed by his first round performance but what can really be learned from that?

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