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UK Championship picks: Neil Robertson ‘feeling really good’ about Stephen Maguire contest

02 Dec | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
UK Championship picks: Neil Robertson ‘feeling really good’ about Stephen Maguire contest

The Triple Crown winner is confident of improving his record against the Scot, while John Higgins should continue his fine run

4/9 – Neil Robertson to beat Stephen Maguire

Neil Robertson is the favourite to win the match and with good reason.

The Triple Crown winner progressed to the last 16 by defeating the talented Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-2, making a tournament-high 145 break along the way.

Maguire, meanwhile, beat Jamie Cope in the previous round and has an excellent record against Robertson – winning five of the last six meetings between the pair, most recently at the German Masters in February.

But Robertson is, of course, a Triple Crown winner and triumphed at the Champions of Champions in Coventry last month.

The Thunder from Down Under believes he is improving as the UK Championship progresses.

“I’m feeling really good,” said Robertson. “I’m pacing myself well.

“I haven’t set the world alight, but my game’s definitely there. It’s just about putting it together towards the business end of the tournament.

“There’s no point playing your best now and running out of gas towards the end.”

8/13 – Liang Wenbo to beat Tom Ford

Liang Wenbo caused the UK Championship’s biggest shock so far, recovering from 4-1 to defeat pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump 6-4.

Before the match, Trump said Liang was the best player he had ever played in practice and the Chinese has been boosted by achieving such a significant win.

“I’m very happy,” said Liang. “Judd’s a wonderful player, so if you beat him, you’ve played well.

“This match gave me a lot of confidence. I’ll enjoy the next game and concentrate on every ball. If I play well, I’ve got a chance.”

Tom Ford, meanwhile, has been as impressive, defeating Mark Williams and Kyren Wilson.

The better-rested Ford has a genuine chance in this match, then, and is great value in an evenly-matched game.

2/9 – John Higgins to beat Jamie Burnett

John Higgins is snooker’s form player this season, having claimed ranking titles in Australia and China already.

Higgins, who was a comfortable 6-2 winner against Ali Carter in the last 32, is not looking forward to playing fellow Scot Jamie Burnett.

“A Tartan tussle – it should be a tough game,” said the three-time UK Championship winner.

“It’s hard – we’re all mates and it’s tough to play each other.”

Jamie Burnett has done excellently – overcoming Li Hang 6-3 last time out – but could struggle against a player he has lost to on all eight occasions.

11/5 – Joe Swail to beat Martin Gould

Joe Swail is a match away from reaching his ranking quarter-final since August 2013 after defeating Michael Holt 6-0 in the last 32.

The veteran Northern Irishman attributes his fine form at the York Barbican to his new relaxed attitude.

“Everything’s come back together and I’m enjoying the game, said Swail.

“Things are falling into place and I’m playing with a smile on my face, win or lose. So I’m taking that pressure off myself.

That augurs well for his tie against Martin Gould, although the latter ousted Mark Allen – one of the tournament favourites – 6-4 last time out.

Gould is enjoying a promising season, having reached the final of the Australian Open before eventually losing to Higgins.

A £10 on the four-fold accumulator returns £91.25*.

Betway UK Championship betting

*Odds and amounts correct at time of publication but subject to change. See site for latest.