Selby and Lisowski are risky propositions at short odds-on



Normal, or at least more predictable, service was resumed on Monday at the Marshall Arena. Seven out of eight favourites won, six convincingly and the only upset (Graeme Dott beating Stuart Bingham) barely warrants the description.

There is much greater potential for upsets today. In fact the two strongest favourites look far from reliable.

Selby is no certainty

Mark Selby tops the bill against a very capable opponent who has proved troublesome in all three of their previous encounters. Hossein Vafaei beat him in the 2019 Wales Open and lost by the odd frame in last month’s English Open, having led 3-1.

Granted, this is over longer and Selby has an amazing record in best-of-11s in big events. However as his incredible record in deciding frames at the Masters illustrates, he is famous for falling behind to lesser opposition, even in majors.

An upset wouldn’t surprise me and the match up looks perfect for a back to lay on the Iranian. Take 5.04/1 pre-match, then place an order to double our money by laying back at 2.56/4 should he shorten to that mark at any stage.

Back Hossein Vafaei 4u @ 5.04/1 (v Selby)
Place order to lay 8u @ 2.56/4

Unreliable Lisowski opposed

The same strategy appeals in the match between Jack Lisowski and Xu Si. The former is literally the last player I would want to take 1.251/4 about.

You never which Jack will turn up. He could blow Si away 6-0 in an hour or so but equally, his lack of discipline can be ruinous against anyone. He’s already lost to three opponents of a similar standard this season – Ashley Carty, Jak Jones and Jackson Page.

Chinese youngsters are sparkling at this renewal and, while Si’s potential isn’t spoken of in the same breath as Zhou Yuelong or even Pang Janxu, he is only 22 years old and has the odd decent win to his name. 6-1 over Oliver Lines in the last round reads well.

Back Xu Si 4u @ 5.04/1 (v Lisowski)
Place order to lay 8u @ 2.56/4

Finally a double on Over 9.5 Frames in two matches I fancy to go a long way. Five of the nine previous matches between Mark Williams and Ricky Walden went the distance.

O’Connor to run Perry close

I’m tempted to make the case for Joe O’Connor to pull off the upset against Joe Perry. The youngster has impressed as a gritty match player on a few occasions. He’s more than capable of keeping this close.

2 units double (pays 4/1)

Over 9.5 Frames in Williams v Walden @ 5/4
Over 9.5 Frames in Perry v O’Connor @ 5/4

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty