Wednesday's UK Snooker Tips: Brilliant Zhou to come of age on a major stage

Snooker player Joe Perry
Joe Perry looks a solid favourite tonight

All four of Paul Krishnamurty's tips landed yesterday and he recommends bets on all of today's quartet of matches...

"Very few players have been scoring as consistently impressively as Yuelong this season."

Back Zhou Yuelong 2u @ 3.211/5 (v Higgins)

We're down to the last-16 at the UK Championship and that means only two match tables are now in operation - both streamed live on Betfair.

As things stand, the draw is opening up beautifully for the red-hot favourite. Judd Trump is one of only two seeds left in the bottom half of the draw, although he may still have to negotiate a tricky rival in Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals.

Those two frontline contenders are in action tomorrow with three of today's four matches involving the more competitive top-half. Neil Robertson and John Higgins kick off proceedings against Anthony McGill and Zhou Yuelong.

Whilst McGill reached the world semis, losing the craziest deciding frame in history, I don't think he presents anything like the threat of the young Chinese prospect.

Yuelong is in the form of his life

The Higgins match is, for me, the tie of the round. Very few players have been scoring as consistently impressively as Yuelong this season but he has a terrible record at the business end of tournaments, and against elite opponents.

He trails Higgins 5-0 in their head-to-head but was a teenager when they last met in 2017. This is a huge test of his progress. If passing it, he could plausibly go on to win the title.

Back Zhou Yuelong 2u @ 3.211/5 (v Higgins)

In truth, I fear Higgins' experience on this stage will prove decisive but his supremacy is overstated in the betting. The invaluable cuetracker.net inform us that Zhou has won 67% of his matches this term, 64% of frames and made a century every 9.36 frames.

The respective numbers for Higgins are 73%, 67% and 11.58, so not much in it. 3.211/5 represents fair value about the youngster.

Robbo to progress comfortably

Robertson has won four out of five matches against McGill and is fancied for a comfortable win. Since that run through the qualifiers to the Crucible semis, the Scot has been struggling through against weak opposition. He suffered a terrible loss in the previous event to Barry Pinches.

5 units double

Neil Robertson @ 1/4
Joe Perry @ 4/7

Rather than trying to pick out a side bet, I'm doubling up Robertson with Joe Perry to beat Jamie Jones. This pays just under even money.

While Jones is highly capable, as evidenced at the Crucible, his overall standard has been pretty ordinary since returning to the tour. He produced only one fifty break in last night's win over Alex Ursenbacher.

Back Over 9.5 Frames in Hawkins v Selby 4u @ 6/5

Finally, Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins square up for the 31st time. They're tied at 15-15. Take out the Championship League and Six Reds, Selby leads 9-8. However in majors, Hawkins leads 3-1 and his only loss came in a decider.

Barry scored heavily in the last round and, with Selby far from perfect despite coming through easily enough, is well capable of producing the upset. I'd rather back a long match though and like 6/5 about Over 9.5 Frames.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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