McGill can at least run Trump close

McGill can at least run Trump close

Very few players have performed better at the Crucible in recent years than Anthony McGill, who knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan at this stage last year. Can he produce a similar scale of upset against Judd Trump? Given how the ‘Ace in the Pack’ has performed of late, he may never get a better chance.

Trump remains unreliable and overpriced

Sure, Trump came through easily against debutant Hossein Vafaei but he missed plenty of chances and only made four fifty breaks. McGill is precisely the sort of Crucible type to profit from such profligacy over a multi-session match. Ignore the fact Trump leads their head-to-head 6-1, as their last non-Championship League meeting was six years ago and in any case, McGill’s standard outside this venue and long format are barely comparable.

Whilst Trump may well improve as the tournament progresses, he has to be opposed at short odds-on until we see some evidence of his long game returning to something like peak level.

But how best to do so? For the first leg of the Daily Double, try Over 22.5 Frames in this match. Of course McGill could win 13-9 or better and scupper that bet, but that is a longshot and we’ll add a further bet that covers such outcomes. 7/4 about 13-10 or closer either way is generous in a match that could well go the distance.

Daily Double (£2 stake returns £11.55)

Back Over 22.5 Frames in Trump v McGill @ 2.757/4
Back Neil Robertson to win the -5.5 Frame Handicap @ 2.111/10

Next, I like McGill to win the +4.5 Frame Handicap line. Nine frames is not asking much at all, unless Trump does suddenly find his A-game. Finally, throw a unit at McGill winning 13-11 or 13-12 at around 19/2 combined. I reckon we’re in for a classic finish.

Robertson to maintain 100% record over Lisowski

The opposite applies to Robertson v Lisowski. In this case a 6-0 head-to-head, by a 54-28 frame margin, feels highly relevant. The latter’s open style is particularly vulnerable against the best breakbuilders. See his similarly grim record against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

To be fair, they met in this round last year and Lisowski stayed competitive, losing 13-9 in a very high-class affair involving 15 seventy-plus breaks. However 12 months ago, he was coming off a best ever season, whereas this one has been poor. In contrast, Robertson has been clearly the best in the world.

I didn’t take anything from Lisowski’s 10-8 win over Matthew Stevens to suggest he’d found his best for the Crucible. As the -5.5 Frame Handicap bet implies, I don’t expect he’ll get as close to the Aussie as last year. Also try 13-5, 13-6 and 13-7 as a correct-score combo. That pays around 2/1.

Finally from today’s #OddsBoosts, Robertson to make a fifty break in the each of the first two frames appeals at the enhanced 10/3.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty