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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Yan’s consistency fancied to tell in Belfast rematch

Williams will do well to deny improving Chinese teenager

Robbie Williams could have his work cut out in his opener
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Eurosport 1, 1pm Tuesday

It's day two of the Northern Ireland Open, the second event in the Home Nations series, and the players are competing so much that punters need to factor in fatigue, especially regarding those cuemen who regularly travel back and forward to China.

Yan Bingtao, one of the brightest prospects in China, is one of those but the oddsmakers are dangling a carrot by making him 4-7 to defeat Robbie Williams in Belfast.

Williams is a player to be respected, but Yan is developing such consistency on the baize that it's now a surprise when he loses.

He was silenced in a 5-1 defeat to Mark Allen in Shanghai last week, but the Northern Irishman is in fine fettle and it's surely only a matter of time before he wins his home title.

Yan was also undone in the semi-finals of the International Championship by Allen and he also reached the last 16 of the English Open. In a nutshell, he's a title winner in waiting.

Yan edged out Williams 4-3 in Belfast last year when the Wallasey potter failed to win despite making breaks of 101 and 91. With the Chinese teenager having made greater progress in the last year, his margin of victory should increase.

There are opportunities for Mitchell Mann and Zhou Yuelong, but Mann may be more effective against big-name opponents while Zhou could get embroiled in a tactical battle against Graeme Dott.

Yan Bingtao
1pt 4-7 Hills

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Yan edged out Williams 4-3 in Belfast last year, when the Wallasey potter failed to win despite making breaks of 101 and 91
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