UK Championship Snooker Tips: Brilliant Lisowski can run Ronnie close
We're down to the last-16 in York, where Paul Krishnamurty predicts both the tournament favourite and reigning world champion could face trouble today...
"Lisowski is the most exciting British prospect in the game and has been blowing away both superior and inferior types in quick time for months...Ronnie certainly won't take him lightly."
Back Jack Lisowski to win the +2.5 Frame Handicap @ 11/10
Prepare for fireworks this afternoon at the Barbican Centre as Ronnie O'Sullivan takes on Jack Lisowski for a place in the UK Championship quarter-finals. If both bring their A-game, this could be a match for the ages.
Robbo to maintain bid for third title
The Rocket of course needs no introduction but his opponent is not quite yet a household name. He will be. Lisowski is the most exciting British prospect in the game and has been blowing away both superior and inferior types in quick time for months.
The latest victory over Marco Fu leaves him on course for the top-16 and a Masters debut next month. That he has made such progress without winning a tournament or even the final of a frontline event demonstrates a consistently high standard. He pots brilliantly, scores heavily but to date, remains naive in the tactical department.
Ronnie certainly won't take him lightly and can't afford to be far off his best. He was superb against Yuelong but missed plenty previously against Doherty and hasn't looked invincible against strong opponents this term. While it is never easy to back against O'Sullivan, I think these odds are too one-sided and recommend taking 11/10 about Lisowki winning four frames, via the 2.5 Frame Handicap.
Maguire is enjoying another strong UK title run
It hasn't been a vintage campaign so far for Stephen Maguire but once again, he appears to be peaking in time for his favourite championship. Since winning this title in 2004 - his career highlight - he's been runner-up and a losing semi-finalist four times. He leads Mark Williams 5-3 throughout their careers and is well up to upsetting the odds again.
Opposing Williams has cost me in the last two rounds but there are no regrets. The game with Noppon Saengkham could easily been very close and ultimately hinged on a few mistakes and flukes. As against Daniel Wells previously, the world champion was brilliant in parts but very ordinary in others. He has not recaptured last season's magic yet.
UK Championship Stats After R3
Back Stephen Maguire 3u @ [2.4] (v Williams)