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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Improving Vafaei can underline his claims

Dale ready to spark his revival

Iranian potter Hossein Vafaei
1 of 1

Eurosport 2, from 7.45am Sunday

Improving Iranian Hossein Vafaei reached the last eight of the English Open just over a week ago and can show why he's scaling the world rankings with victory over Akani Songsermsawad in the opening round of the International Championship.

The world number 54 isn't the heaviest of scorers but his all-round game is solid and when given a chance he tends to take it.

Vafaei's hit list in Barnsley included talented Chinese youngster Zhao Xintong and former world champion Stuart Bingham, and his ability to grind out important results should stand him in good stead.

The 23-year-old was outclassed in his quarter-final meeting with Kyren Wilson but there's little shame in that and a clash with Songsermsawad, who was a first-round casualty 12 months ago, is a perfect chance to continue his progress.

Dominic Dale has had a slow start to the season but he's capable of better and a match-up with Ben Woollaston could spark his revival.

The Welshman has won the last four meetings between the duo and Woollaston's 4-0 whipping against Michael White in Barnsley may take some getting over.

Recommendations
H Vafaei
2pts 4-6 Coral, Ladbrokes
D Dale
1pt 11-8 bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes


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Vafaei's hit list in Barnsley included talented Chinese youngster Zhao Xintong and former world champion Stuart Bingham
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