Sunday at the Crucible sees the start of four second round matches including the mouth-watering tie between former champions Ronnie O’Sullivan (1.30) and Mark Williams (3.30).
Williams' record against Ronnie makes rather grim reading, it’s now over a decade since he has beaten him in a match of any real meaning and the head to heads since 1995 overall reads 20-5 in favour of O’Sullivan.
They met here a couple of seasons ago and the match followed a familiar pattern with O’Sullivan never really looking in danger. The mental side of the game is never more evident than when these two meet, the normally fluent, carefree attitude of the Welshman seems to totally disappear and O’Sullivan seems to up his game accordingly.
There is very little to suggest we will see Williams buck the trend here. O’Sullivan is in solid if not blistering form so far and I’d expect a win for him with a few frames to spare.
Judd Trump (1.25) overcame a bout of food poisoning to beat Dominic Dale in a first round match that he could easily have lost, but Dale could not take advantage of the clearly under-par tournament favourite.
He faces Ali Carter (3.75) who looked in great shape in his demolition job of Mark Davis in Round 1. Carter seems to be peaking at the right point of the season after a long period plagued by his own serious health issues, which he says at the moment he has under control.
Judd is sure to give him chances and the way Carter was striking the ball in his first match he is likely to make far more of them than Dale did, I actually quite fancy an upset in this one and will plump for Carter to knock out the man at the head of the market.
Best Bets: Ronnie O’Sullivan -3.5 frames (2.00) Ali Carter (3.75)