Shaun Murphy (@1.72) vs Jack Lisowski (@2.1)
12-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Shaun Murphy will win

Shaun Murphy – Jack Lisowski Match Prediction | 12-09-2019 02:00

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With two semi-final and a couple of quarter-final appearances in ranking events this season, Donaldson is beginning to become more recognisable at the business end of comps. His debut berth in the World Championship shouldnt come as any great surprise then, but its difficult to envisage him going any further. Scott Donaldson was the last player to emerge from the 2019 World Snooker Championship qualifiers late on Wednesday night after a dramatic 10-9 victory over Lu Ning. Kyren Wilson could be a dark horse for this years tournament as hes got all the necessary tools to do well in the 17-day Marathon of the Mind. The Paul Hunter Classic and German Masters champion reached the last four twelve months ago and was eventually undone by John Higgins but, like the four-time world champion, Wilson boasts a suitable temperament for the big occasion. With a taste of the single table set-up, the Kettering cueist will be desperate to make a return. The Scot has gone under the radar a touch but has actually been one of the most improved players on the circuit of late.

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Lisowski progressed through to the last 16 of the Northern Ireland Open by defeating David Lilley 43, John Astley 41 and Joe Perry 43, but was thrashed 40 by Barry Hawkins.

Zhao gave Selby a stern check in the semi-finals of the China Championship in September the only piece of silverware in Selbys cabinet from a forgettable period. Most of his strong showings have come in China and its against one of that nations highly fancied young stars who he faces first. The Jester just lost his coveted world number one position for the first time in more than four years and has looked a shadow of the self that captured three world titles in four years between 2014 and 2017. The 22 year-old must have been a despondent character twelve months ago when he dropped off the Main Tour but immediately bounced back via Q School and in one season is already in the cusp of breaking into the top 64 in the world rankings. A lot depends on which Selby actually turns up. Selbys displays on home soil have predominantly been dismal, reaching the last four of a UK-based ranking event only twice in two years. Which Mark Selby is going to turn up? Zhao Xintong is arguably the most improved player of the season. Thats what a lot of people are wondering as we get set for the 2019 World Snooker Championship. Theres no reason to think that Zhao, a heavy scorer when in full flow, cant put it up to the Leicesterman again on this occasion.

Barry Hawkins vs Li Hang

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The Hawk hasnt enjoyed an especially good campaign but might fancy his chances in an open looking top quarter of the draw to repeat his now trademark run to the last four. Some people might be surprised to learn that Li Hang, despite first turning professional in 2008, has never actually played in the World Championship at the Crucible. The 28 year-old is one of six Chinese in the draw, four of whom are set to make their debuts on the famous stage. Li has risen into the top 32 in the world rankings this season and is undoubtedly a dangerous player. The latter, of course, has become somewhat of a master at the longer format and has reached the semi-finals or better in five out of the last six editions. But its never easy at the Crucible, never mind when its a first appearance, and facing someone like Barry Hawkins doesnt make the task any simpler.

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Ding Junhui vs Anthony McGill

The Welshman has been enjoying a year-long celebration since then and its fair to say that his game has suffered a touch as a result. Goulds performances at the Crucible havent been notable since and the experience, not to mention cool head, of Williams should prove to be the vital difference. As always, theres great expectation in learning who the defending champion will receive in the first round draw. Yet, its been a miserable time on the circuit for the Pinner Potter of late and he has been in danger of dropping outside the worlds top 32. Gould famously led Neil Robertson 11-5 in the second round in 2010, only for the Australian to fight back and proceed to capture his one and only world title. Williams has lost the consistency that was a cornerstone of his game last season. Mark Williams produced an unbelievable performance twelve months ago to surprise the pack and claim a third world crown, 15 years after his last success. A former ranking event winner, Gould has the type of game that can trouble any opponent on his day. Against Martin Gould, Williams probably could have received an easier opening challenge.

Even so, Stuart Bingham would have to be considered as the favourite, especially taking into account his wonderful form this season. Graeme Dotts record in this event is superb, underlined by the fact that he has featured at the TV stages of the World Championship every year since 2000, bar one. An intriguing battle between two former world champions, this has the hallmark of a game that could go right down to the wire. One of six players to claim multiple ranking titles this term, Bingham has only lost to Dott three times in 11 meetings and hammered the Pocket Dynamo when they last crossed paths in Sheffield four year ago. In 2015, of course, Bingham proceeded to win the championship. Like all the qualifiers, Dott has useful victories in the qualifiers under his belt and it will be interesting to see whether or not that has any influence on the outcome.

The last time Gary Wilson qualified he played Ronnie OSullivan so hell be thankful that he has been granted with a more realistic path into the last 16. The Belgian endured a terrible time after that breakthrough success but this months semi-final appearance in the China Open has provided a signal of a return to form. When on his game, Brecel is a dangerous threat to anyone and its easy to forget that hes still only 24. Luca Brecel relied heavily on his China Championship victory from last season to remain inside the top 16 and gain one of the crucial automatic berths. Making his fourth bow at the Crucible, Brecel will be hoping that the obstacle of Wilson can lead to a stepping stone to greater glories in the event. Still, theres an opportunity for both of these players to reach the second round at the Crucible for the first time in their careers. In a first round draw that is full of eye-catching ties, this one is possibly not one that especially stands outs.