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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Rob Milkins could keep tabs on former world champion

Gloucester ace beat Robertson 10-8 at the Crucible in 2013

Robert Milkins looked in good touch in the recent qualifying competition
1 of 1

Day four
BBC & Eurosport, Tuesday

Bingham v Lisowski 10am
Jack Lisowski has been making strides recently and has a chance of upsetting Stuart Bingham in their Betfred World Championship opener. But there is a lot of pride at stake in this clash and it may pay not to underrate the 2015 Crucible hero.

The duo have not met since 2014 but the last three meetings decisively went the way of Bingham. Of course, things could be closer now with Lisowski’s all-round game looking stronger than it used to be.

But Bingham remains a proud, capable performer who will be keen to earn important ranking points after missing three months of the season due to a betting ban.

It’s hard to be confident about which way it will go and so it may be wise to take the odds-on prices about 16 or more frames being contested.

Over 15.5 frames
1pt 1-2 Hills

M Williams v J Robertson 2.30pm
Mark Williams, who has enjoyed a fine campaign with title triumphs in the 6 Reds World Championship, Northern Ireland Open and German Masters, should be the dominant force in his clash with Jimmy Robertson.

The bookmakers certainly think so, too, with the two-time world champion rated 1-5 to progress.

J-Rob is improving but it will be a surprise if the East Sussex cueman has sufficient nous to seriously trouble one of the finest players of the last 20 years.

Williams is a more relaxed performer than he was in his pomp and many still feel he could claim a third Crucible crown.

That’s unlikely to happen with Ronnie O’Sullivan still in the draw, but the Welshman can still put down a decent early marker.

Total-frames handicaps and over/under markets make little appeal so with Robert­­son having failed to compile a century in their six meetings, all of which went Williams’ way, back the favourite to notch the first ton.

M Williams first century break
1pt 4-7 Betfair, Paddy Power

N Robertson v Milkins 7pm
Rob Milkins was in pretty good nick in the qualifiers and considering he has beaten Neil Robertson twice before, the Aussie may well need to be on top of his game to progress.

Robertson is good enough to add to his solitary 2010 Crucible title, but his will for a fight has not always matched his ability in Sheffield in recent seasons.

The favourite offers no value at 1-5 and a case can be made for backing Gloucester potter Milkins on the handicap with a start of 4.5 frames.

R Milkins +4.5 frames
1pt 4-5 BetBright, Betway

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The favourite offers no value at 1-5 and a case can be made for backing Gloucester potter Milkins on the handicap with a start of 4.5 frames
E.W. Terms
Sky bet