We started out with 128 players and now we’re down to the final eight as the UK Championship heads into the semi-finals later today.
World number one Neil Robertson takes on Stuart Bingham in the first of the semi-finals on Friday, whilst on Saturday…
Neil Robertson v Stuart Bingham (Friday)
Neil Robertson may have won two of the three majors in snooker, the Worlds and Masters, but he’s still waiting for victory in the UK Championship and he’s now just two matches away from changing that.
After beating close friend and practice partner Joe Perry in the last 16 on Wednesday, he defeated Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 6-2 in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Robertson has had a good record in the full ranking events so far this campaign, which he started off by winning thee Wuxi Classic back in June. He then reached the final of his home event in Australia and also had runs to the quarter-finals in both the Shanghai Masters and Indian Open.
He’s looked sharp so far this week as the tournament has gone on but will have a tough test on his hands when he takes on Stuart Bingham today.
Bingham defeated pre-tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan with a ruthless performance in the quarters yesterday afternoon and will fancy his chances this afternoon.
After a steady start to the season for the Basildon man, he stepped up at the recent Champion of Champions event in Coventry, reaching the final where he was shaded out 10-8 by O’Sullivan.
I think he could just cause an upset and that’s why my BET OF THE DAY is on a Bingham win, with Bet 365 providing the best odds of 12/5.
If you fancy putting a bet on the favourite Robertson, then Stan James provide the best odds on him winning the match at 2/5.
Mark Selby v Ricky Walden
Mark Selby remains in line to defend his UK Championship title after beating Barry Hawkins in a thrilling final frame decider on Thursday evening.
After last season, Selby has had a poor campaign so far but could turn that around in York this weekend.
He faces world number 12 Ricky Walden, a player who should not be underestimated. He realised his potential two years ago when he reached the UK Championship semi-finals and is hoping to go one better this year.
He’s gone from strength to strength since that run and last season won his first ranking title, the Wuxi Classic. He defeated an underperforming Mark Allen on Friday and is looking in good form ahead of Saturday’s semi-final.
UK Championship Outrights
World number one Robertson is now favourite for the title, with Boylesports offering the best odds of 7/4. Selby is priced at 9/4 with William Hill for the title. The in-form Bingham is good value with Boylesports at 11/2 whilst Ricky Walden is available at 6/1 with Ladbrokes.
The semi-finals are split over two sessions, the afternoon at 1pm and evening commencing at 7pm. Coverage continued on BBC Two/BBC Red Button and Eurosport. Check listings.