Chen Zifan to beat Yan Bingtao 1pt – 8.0 @ Bet365
Lyu Haotian to beat Anthony McGill 1pt – 3.0 @ Bet365
Dominic Dale to beat Judd Trump 1pt – 8.5 @ 888Sport
Bingtao has been fairly poor this season, the only decent player he’s beat was Xintong last week in a decider, his other wins all came against older players who don’t win much any more and his last 3 defeats have came to David Grace, Sam Craigie and Steven Hallworth, the last 2 in particular players who don’t win many matches.
Zifan was superb in his win over Sijun last time out coming from 3-0 down and his results haven’t been terrible since making it onto the tour, 10 wins out of 26 overall.
I rate McGill and Haotian quite evenly and their respective seasons so far have been pretty much identical. Both players had 6-4 wins against players near the bottom of the rankings in the first round here.
Both lost to players they were expected to beat comfortably in their first matches of the NI Open last week, both players lost in close matches against Joe O’Connor in German Masters qualifying, and both players had a good win in the European Masters before losing to a top 16 player. They are playing on a very similar level right now and 2/1 looks too high for Haotian.
For all Trumps incredible performances and tournament wins elsewhere he still seems to struggle in the triple crown events with just 3 triple crown wins overall. At this event in particular since his final appearance in 2014 he’s had a 2nd round exit, 3rd rounds and 14th.
Last year he lost in this event to a 54 year old Nigel Bond, and his other exits in recent year have came against Perry, Dott, Liang and Oliver Lines. In the first round here this week he was looking below his best against Paul Davison, giving his opponent a lot of good chances.
Dale has been in great form recently too, an impressive 6-3 over Honghao on Wednesday and last week beating Mark Williams in NI Open, he’s now won 5 of his last 6 matches. These 2 actually met in the UK Championship 2 years ago and Trump needed a deciding frame to win that one.