Match Previews

World Snooker Championship Day 6 Tips: Williams to state title credentials with comfortable win

Three-time world champion Mark Williams
Could Mark Williams win a fourth world title?

"Williams played as well as anyone in the first round...he looks a serious title contender."

As the last-16 round gets underway, Paul Krishnamurty previews the matches involving three-time world champion Mark Williams and reigning UK champion Zhao Xintong...

There are still two first round matches ongoing - both of which we already hold a position in - so let's get straight into the second round action. Mark Williams and Jackson Page play the first of three sessions in the afternoon, followed by Zhao Xintong and Stephen Maguire.

First, today's multiple is a cheap, speculative correct-score double, listed below.

Daily Double (£0.25 stake pays £26.12)

Back Mark Williams to win 13-6 @ 9.517/2
Back Zhao Xintong to win 13-7 @ 11.010/1

Williams and Page have a close friendship, with the former describing the 20 year-old as a 'fourth son', and they've been practising together as usual ahead of this match. This isn't quite a unique experience as they played once before at the Scottish Open, with the older man running out a 4-1 winner.

Whilst regarding Page a decent long-term prospect, I'm surprised to see him reach this far. Credit where due, as his four-match qualifying run was impressive work, let alone upsetting the odds against Barry Hawkins on his Crucible debut. Nevertheless, beating Williams over three sessions would be an ever bigger upset, especially after the three-time champion played so well in the first round.

Williams played as well as anyone in the first round, thrashing Michael White with four tons plus a further break of 90. He looks a serious title contender and, with no disrespect to Page, this is about as easy a draw as one could wish for at this stage. Back him to progress comfortably, with a trio of correct scores. 13-5, 13-6 and 13-7 combined pays 9/4.

Xintong has clear edge on first round form

I don't have a particularly strong betting opinion on the Maguire match. Xintong's form in the first round was in another league but the result is prohibitive 1.42/5 odds. Plenty short enough given this will be Zhao's first three-session match here, against a player with a wealth of Crucible experience.

I don't have enough faith in his consistency to take such odds an am torn, because the Scot was one of my outright picks.

Win this and he's two wins from an unlikely each-way payout. However besides an excellent closing burst, Maguire was far from impressive in a poor match with Shaun Murphy. Whilst always capable of springing into heavy scoring form, he definitely starts this as the clear outsider.

Again, I think the best answer is a relatively cheap correct score combo on Zhao to confirm that supremacy with a comfortable win. 13-7 and 13-8 combined pays 9/2.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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