Pistol may not be shot down easily
ITV, 1pm & 7pm
Mark Allen's game is in decent shape and he can be backed to stay competitive when he takes on Ronnie O’Sullivan in their Champion of Champions semi-final on Friday.
Allen had looked in decent touch in the China Championship last week before John Higgins put a end to his run at the semi-final stage.
Prior to that last-four exit the Pistol had made five centuries in victories over Ricky Walden and Mark Selby – that sort of scoring indicates what good nick his game is in.
The Northern Irishman was critical of the conditions after he beat Mark Selby 6-5 at the group-final stage on Wednesday night but he still made five 50-plus breaks on a table he wasn’t comfortable on.
Opposing the greatest ever cueman is not a decision taken lightly, but the Rocket’s game has clearly been hindered by a lack of match practice, as he said himself after beating an out-of-form Martin Gould 6-2 on Monday.
Allen can be backed at 8-11 getting a two-and-a-half-frame start and that looks a play.
In Friday afternoon’s semi, Ding Junhui will play the winner of Thursday night’s clash between John Higgins and Judd Trump.
M Allen +2.5 frames
1pt 8-11 BoyleSports, Hills