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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Forgotten man Zhou Yuelong could be best in the west

Selby and Higgins may be jaded after their Guangzhou efforts

Chinese young gun Zhou Yuelong possesses bundles of attacking talent
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Eurosport 1, from midday Monday

After a cracking week of world-ranking action in Guangzhou at the China Championship, snooker's stars head west for the second edition of the European Masters, the tournament that has come about solely because of the emergence of Luca Brecel.

The Belgian is likely to win his home tournament one year and anyone who nabbed the early 100-1 about Brecel can't complain about the price, but last season's China Champion­ship winner may not be at his peak and one or two others appeal more as value.

It was class all the way in Guang­zhou with Mark Selby and John Higgins ousting Zhao Xintong and Lyu Haotian in the semi-finals. Selby and Zhao go again in Lommel, where Judd Trump is defending the title.

But with world number one Selby, who edged final victory 10-9, possibly jaded after his fine effort in denying some of China's top talents, it could pay to chance an outsider this week.

Higgins has joined non-starters Ronnie O'Sullivan, Ding Junhui and Mark Williams, who is having a rare week off, while Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy were beaten in qualifying.

It's best of seven frames until the semi-finals, so whoever progresses will need to be sharp from the outset and in an open-looking event it could pay to have an each-way bet on Zhou Yuelong.

Last season's Championship League finalist goes to Belgium something of a forgotten man after failing to qualify for Guangzhou, but the 20-year-old is pretty much as talented as anyone in China.

Zhou Yuelong
1pt each-way 150-1 Betfred

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It's best of seven frames until the semi-finals, so whoever progresses will need to be sharp from the outset
E.W. Terms
Sky bet