2016 World Snooker Championship last 16: Williams has Holt test, Selby faces Baird
Lee Gormley | April 21, 2016
2016 World Snooker Championship
- World Snooker Championship last 16
- Friday, April 22nd
- First break-off: 10:00 BST
- Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
- Live on BBC Two and Eurosport
Crucible set for further last 16 clashes
The last 16 continues on Friday in what has been an enthralling 2016 World Snooker Championship so far, and plenty more crucial Crucible clashes are set to take place on the Sheffield baize as Mark Williams looks to tame Michael Holt, while Mark Selby contests progressing qualifier Sam Baird.
After storming past fellow former world champion Graeme Dott, Welshman Williams now faces a sterner test against Hitman Holt, who produced a strong showing to incredibly send Neil Robertson packing in the first round.
Later in the day, world number one Selby then faces a player ranked 58 places below him in Devon cuest Baird, after edging out a solid effort from Robert Milkins, and he is 11/2 with Coral to become another seeded victim by exiting at this stage of a dramatic tournament.
Williams looks to tame in-form Holt
Entering his opening match-up in the main draw, Holt looked to possess one of the hardest encounters against Robertson, but the Nottingham potter impressively dispatched the Australian while also knocking in the previous highest tournament break of 140, before Barry Hawkins’ later 141.
The Hitman is therefore 15/8 to hand two-time Crucible king Williams a defeat in his latest meeting, and he will be high on confidence after his recent three wins from four previous match-ups against the Welshman too.
Although, circuit veteran Williams showed glimpses of his former dominant self when thrashing Scottish challenger Dott in his opener, earning an emphatic 10-4 victory and is 2/1 to lead 3-1 after four frames played here.
The 41-year-old will be entering the second round for the first time since 2012 and is 9/1 to secure a 13-8 triumph, while in-form Holt is 14/1 to edge a deciding frame and progress with a 13-12 result.
Selby seeks progression past Baird
Current world number one Selby overcame a strong challenge from Milkins to reach this stage of the Crucible and is a heavy odds-on 1/9 favourite to thwart Baird’s impressive run, with the latter having knocked out top 16 competitor Michael White.
The pair have actually met twice before, with the Jester from Leicester winning on both occasions via a final frame shootout, so he is 18/1 to do so again here with a 13-12 success.
It took a while for Selby to get going against the Milkman and world number 59 Baird may need to come flying out of the blocks to record another shock result, making him 14/5 to win the race to four frames, while the 2014 champion is 5/2 to lead 5-3 after eight frames played in Yorkshire.
With so many of the top seeds having already exited, Selby will see this a great chance to rally towards another world crown, while Baird will take a boost from his impressive first round showing, as he seeks another shock on what is only his second career visit to the Crucible.
Coral’s top tip: Back Michael Holt to overcome Mark Williams at a promising 15/8.