SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) picks out his favourite International Championship fancies from the qualifying action on Wednesday.
Harvey Chandler v Joe Perry | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 09:30
Joe Perry lost on Sunday in the European Masters final and the 44-year-old Cambridge man could be in for a tough match back on Wednesday against tour rookie, and European amateur champion, Harvey Chandler.
Chandler has more than held his own on tour so far, winning four of his 10 matches. He also lost narrowly 5-3 to one of the ranking event winners this season, Kyren Wilson, and to former world champion Peter Ebdon by the same score.
Chandler has beaten two-time ranking event winner Michael White (5-4), plus Kurt Maflin (5-4) and Alexander Ursenbacher (4-1), who are two very dangerous customers, then, most recently, thrashed seasoned pro Mark Joyce 4-0. It was most pleasing to see him win in the two deciders.
The rookie is also a very capable scorer too. So far in his matches he’s hit 11 breaks over 50, including two centuries.
This could be a good time to face Perry. He even said after losing to Jimmy Robertson in Lommel that it will take some time to get over it. I can imagine he would prefer a break to recharge his batteries. But no can do.
Interestingly, directly after two of Perry's last three ranking finals he's lost. The one he did win was only a 4-2 victory over an amateur.
In seven of his 10 matches since turning pro, Chandler would have prevailed on the handicap. Ladbrokes have priced up Chandler at 13/10 with a +3.5 frames start in this best of 11. I think that's very generous indeed.
Winning three frames would bring in the bacon.
Robbie Williams v Yuan Sigun | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 09:30
I like two other handicaps and will advise them in a double.
Nearly a year ago, Robbie Williams defeated Yuan Sijun 5-4 in Shanghai. I don't know the prices but Williams would have been odds-on for certain.
Twelve months on, and with Yuan hitting form, and Robbie going the other way, Williams is a 15/8 shout to beat the Chinese youngster. Too big, but I prefer to have Williams onside +2.5 frames at 7/10 here.
Williams has just two wins to his name this season (six defeats) but has lost in two deciders, and two 4-2s. Robbie is a real fighter on the table.
He's perilously close to dropping out of the top 64 so he needs wins fast. If he can use his experience here, he can definitely win the match but it's safer to cover the +2.5.
Sijun is a lovely talent but, like most the youngsters from the Far East, is very naive. It's important Williams starts well.
Joe O’Connor v Michael Holt | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 19:30
With a +3.5 start, I'm going for Joe O'Connor to push Michael Holt closer than most will think.
Joe won the English Amateur title this year and, like Chandler, has done well in his first season as a professional. He's lost his last three matches (three toughies) 4-0, 5-1 and 4-0 but before that would have covered the handicap successfully in his other seven matches, winning four like Chandler.
Holt, a pro since 1996, is a huge underachiever. So far this season he's won six of his 11 matches, losing his last two qualifiers to 52-year-old Nigel Bond and a shocking loss to a brand new Chinese tour player Zhang Jiankang.
If the real ‘Holty' comes to the party, he should win this match but I do think if he does, he wins 6-3 or 6-4. Michael rarely does anything easily. He's hard work to watch and back.
Chris Wakelin v Thor Chuan Leong | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 09:30
Lastly, I like a 7/5 treble (Marathon) on Wednesday.
Chris Wakelin, one of the most improved players the past season and a bit, should have too much quality for Malaysia's Thor Chuan Leong. They did meet this season in China Championship qualifying and Wakelin won 5-4.
Leong is very inconsistent – he either plays well or doesn't turn up. Bar a 5-0 loss to Jack Lisowski and a 4-1 defeat to Stuart Bingham, Wakelin has been in every match this season. He’s a top player.
Ryan Day v Lee Walker | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 14:30
Ryan Day faces Lee Walker and I'm a little surprised the bookies don't have Day a lot shorter. Marathon's 4/11 is too big.
Day is having a reasonable season. He made the quarters in Lommel, beating Mark Selby (from 2-0 down) en-route. He also beat John Higgins 6-5 in Shanghai. He has won seven of eight opening matches this season and last season he won 20 of his 27 first round matches.
Walker made the quarters at the Paul Hunter Classic but apart from that has done nothing of note.
Fergal O'Brien v Jimmy White | Wednesday 10th October 2018, 14:30
Fergal O'Brien has won 10 times already this season, and can make it 11 versus Jimmy White.
You can tell Fergal’s playing extremely well when his resume of wins include Zhao Xintong, Luca Brecel, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter and Marco Fu. He's compiled seven centuries also. All of last season O'Brien won just 14 times and made nine tons.
Jimmy White has just one win to his name this season and that was against a Latvian amateur. O'Brien should win with a bit to spare.