German Masters Snooker: One player to back from each quarter
Snooker's latest ranking tournament resumes on Wednesday, with live coverage throughout on Betfair Live Video. Here's Paul Krishnamurty's preview...
"Trump is a worthy favourite and will be heavily so against anyone he reaches prior to, worst ways, Wilson in the semis."
Did the Masters demonstrate a changing of snooker's guard? That was the talk after Judd Trump demolished Ronnie O'Sullivan - his second straight victory in a final over the undisputed king.
As yet, the betting does not reflect it. Ronnie isn't in the field for this week's German Masters but the favourite is still available to back at 9/2. For now, this sport remains wide-open.
Trust Wilson to bounce back
Back Kyren Wilson 4u @ [12.5]
The reputation of the player many of us believe will also contend frequently at the very highest level took a hit in London. Wilson was never at the races when blown away by Trump in the latest chapter of their emerging rivalry.
Over-reacting to one defeat to an on-fire opponent would be wrong but there is definitely room for improvement in his cue control. Nevertheless, he is a contender for any tournament and he has a winning temperament.
Kyren's principal threats to reaching the semis come from Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams. The former is preferred on the basis of his brilliance before Christmas but he played terribly at the Masters and has endured a poor season.
Trump hard to oppose in current mood
Back Judd Trump 6u @ [5.6]
Trump deserves all the plaudits heaped upon him after London and previous estimations must be reconsidered. Prior to this season - think of the player that crawled over the line against Chris Wakelin at the Crucible only last May - it consistently paid to oppose him. No longer.
I strongly doubt he'll dominate simply because snooker is so competitive nowadays. Nevertheless he's a worthy favourite and will be heavily so against anyone he reaches prior to, worst ways, Wilson in the semis.
One who might give him a fright is potential last-16 opponent Yan Bingtao. He makes more appeal at 45-1 on grounds of potential than the more experienced yet unreliable Barry Hawkins and Stephen Maguire at less than half those odds.
Day can get the better of Ding again
Next the weakest quarter. John Higgins and Ding Junhui are the big-guns but neither has been anywhere near the best. Ding, in fairness, seemed to be getting there at the Masters but I'm happy to take him on with potential last-16 opponent Day.
Ding leads their head-to-head 9-6 but the Welshman has won their last three and four of their last five. He's also played the better snooker this season. An alternative pick would be Jack Lisowski, who must win soon.
Gilbert the value call in tough section
Finally what looks the most competitive quarter, including four of this season's champions plus a runner-up. Mark Selby is the one to beat but can he be trusted after totally contrasting performances at the Masters?
Selby was sublime in his opening match and will surely bounce back soon, but he's been easy to oppose for ages. He often struggles in early rounds and Ricky Walden will not be straightforward first up.
I'm very positive about both Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham at the moment but they will likely meet in the last-16.
Alternatively Gilbert is a nicely priced each-way option. Runner-up in the World Open, he only found Ronnie too good in the NI quarters and made a 147 at last week's Championship League. He's well capable of breaking through in an event of this stature.
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