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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Lyu is capable of keeping scoreline respectable in semi

Experience should count for dual world champ Williams

Mark Williams should be able to nail a final berth in Belfast
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from 1pm Saturday, Eurosport 1

It's 14-1 bar two going into Saturday's semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Open and while Mark Williams' wealth of experience should see him over the line against last-four opponent Elliot Slessor, Yan Bingtao could have to work a little harder to deny Lyu Haotian.

Lyu looked a promising young player in his first tilt at snooker but elected to focus on other cue sports such as pool for a few years.

His coach Peng Weiguo, a pretty decent performer himself, advised Lyu to have another stab at the big-table game and that advice appears to be working out well as the ante-post 1,000-1 shot is enjoying a career-best tournament run in Belfast this week.

It's best of 11 on Saturday and given Lyu's greater experience it could pay to back his clash to last for over 8.5 frames. Yan could storm to victory, but Lyu is good enough to pinch some of the closer frames.

Slessor, who was also 1,000-1 pre-tournament, ended Ronnie O'Sullivan's hopes of collecting the £1m bonus for winning all four Home Nations events. Slessor is a decent performer but it all got a bit much for him and Li Yuan in the quarter-finals and he will do well to thwart a composed performer like two-time Crucible king Williams.

Best outright prices: Evs M Williams, 13-8 Yan Bingtao, 14 Lyu Haotian, E Slessor.

Over 8.5 frames in Yan Bingtao v Lyu Haotian 
1pt 4-6 Coral

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Yan could storm to victory, but Lyu is good enough to pinch some of the closer frames
E.W. Terms
Sky bet