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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Un-Nooh can score well against four-time world champion Higgins

Well-fancied Trump should shine in his Crucible opener

Scotland's John Higgins
1 of 1

Day five
BBC & Eurosport, from 10am Wednesday

Higgins v Un-Nooh 10am
John Higgins is a short price to open his Betfred World Champ­ion­ship campaign with a victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and given the Thai's ability it could pay to back the outsider to make at least one century break.

Higgins' draw has opened up with Mark Selby falling at the first hurdle, but while the Scot has won this title on four previous occasions he has not always been the fastest of starters at the Crucible.

Alfie Burden was powerless to prevent Un-Nooh nailing a berth at the hallowed arena in the recent qualifiers and the Londoner was full of respect for the Thai's talent.

Un-Nooh is no stranger to compiling high breaks – he made a 147 in Germany in 2016 and has missed the final black in maximum bids on a further two occasions – and the odds-against that he makes a ton could be value.

Recommendation
T Un-Nooh over 0.5 century break
1pt 6-5 Paddy Power


Trump v Wakelin 2.30pm
Judd Trump leads Chris Wakelin 7-0 in their personal series and oddmakers don't expect the fourth seed to lose.

Many observers reckon this could be Trump's year – some of his fellow players would like to see him do it too – but he got seriously bogged down against Rory McLeod in the last 32 last year and ended up exiting the tournament.

Wakelin should be more to his liking, but the Warwickshire cueman has made definite strides in recent months. If he could produce his A-game he could make life tough for Trump, but he has yet to showcase his skills in a significant way in front of the TV cameras.

The total-games handicap and over/under markets don't quite lend themselves to a Wakelin punt, so given the pair's history an interest on the favourite to make at least two century breaks can be chanced.

Recommendation
J Trump over 1.5 centuries
1pt 8-13 bet365


McGill v Day 7pm
Whichever way you view Ryan Day's clash with Anthony McGill, it looks close.

Day has enjoyed a fine, confidence-boosting season with title triumphs in Gibraltar and Bucharest, but McGill has shown signs recently that a return to his best may be in the offing.

The Scot could be value to win, but Day has been cueing so well that he may be capable of avoid­ing a fifth successive defeat to his opponent.

McGill has compiled century breaks in his last two outings so can be considered for the highest break.

Hills' 1-2 that over 15.5 frames are contested is a definite option, but with the slight possibility that Day could put daylight between himself and McGill another viable punt could be to back the clash to feature at least a couple of tons.

Recommendation
Over 1.5 centuries
1pt 4-6 Betfair, Paddy Power


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Un-Nooh is no stranger to high breaks – he made a 147 in Germany in 2016 and has missed the final black in maximum bids on a further two occasions
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