After knocking out Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stuart Bingham now finds another tournament favourite in his path. Paul Krishnamurty reckons the in-form Essex player is well up to giving Neil Robertson a run for his money...
"The pair have met nine times as professionals, with Bingham winning seven of them. In ranking events and PTCs, he won all four."
Back Stuart Bingham to win the 2.5 frame handicap @ 1.9520/21
Having produced arguably the best performance of his career to eliminate Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stuart 'Ballrun' Bingham may be under-estimated ahead of today's UK Championship semi-final against Neil Robertson. Their long-term head-to-head record also clearly points in that direction.
The pair have met nine times as professionals, with Bingham winning seven of them. In ranking events and PTCs, he won all four. That record is in marked contrast to yesterday's situation, when Bingham was facing a player who had dominated matches throughout their careers. If he can summon the form and mental strength to overcome Ronnie, who wasn't in bad form, then he has no reason to fear Robertson.
Of course, the world number one is rightly favourite for both the match and tournament. However while Robertson is admirably consistent, he isn't invincible in longer matches during the latter stages of events by any means. Three appearances in finals since winning the Wuxi Classic in June have all ended in defeat, twice to considerably lesser players in Marco Fu and Mark Davis. Bingham is a tougher opponent than either of them and, having reached the Champion of Champions final in his previous event, clearly playing well enough to win this title.
If you're trading the match live, there is plenty of mileage in backing Bingham at 3.412/5, with a view to banking a profit if he goes odds-on at some stage. The best bet in my view, though, is to back him for the +2.5 handicap at 1.9520/21, in hope he'll win seven frames.