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Cao Yupeng can claim victory over McGill

Ricky Walden could give punters a run for their money

Stephen Maguire has his sights set on a place in the last four
1 of 1

First round 
ITV4, 1pm & 7pm Tuesday

The Ladbrokes World Grand Prix kicks into top gear with afternoon and evening sessions on Tuesday and there are a few bets that could get Preston punters purring.

Cao Yupeng is a potter with bags of talent and while it has taken the Chinese cueman a fair while to realise his potential there are signs that things are starting to click into place. 

The Guangzhou man showed his class when reaching the final of the Scottish Open - a title he should have won - in November and prior to that he had reached the semi-finals of the European Masters. 

While those competitions are not the biggest on the tour, they show that Yupeng's game is in decent shape, and a run the the last eight of the Coral Shoot Out this month won't have harmed the Chinese cueman's confidence even though it's largely a novelty event. 

Odds-against quotes about a victory over Anthony McGill, who has a big reputation but only a handful of results to back it up, look more than fair.

Judging by recent performances it looks as though there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Ricky Walden after his back problems and the Marathon Man can give punters a good run for their money against Shaun Murphy. 

A quarter-final in Scotland was followed by a last-16 run in the German Masters, and while there is still a way to go, those results are certainly a step in the right direction for Walden.

Murphy is a top-quality cueman and is not easily opposed but at the prices he looks worth taking on.


Tournament preview


Stephen Maguire looks a pretty solid odds-on prospect against Li Hang. 

Maguire has bags of class and while there have been periods of poor results there is no reason to think the sun is setting on Scot's career yet. In fact, 2017 ended on a bright note for Maguire as he made the semi-finals of the Betway UK Championship and the last eight of his home event in Glasgow.

Hang is not just making up the numbers but perhaps the prices slighty overrate his changes against the solid Scot.

Recommendations
Cao Yupeng 
1pt 11-10 general
R Walden 
1pt 15-8 BoyleSports
S Maguire 
1pt 8-13 Coral, Ladbrokes


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It looks as though there is light at the end of the tunnel for Ricky Walden
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