UK Championship Snooker quarters: Higgins a threat to Robertson
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 4, 2015
UK Championship Snooker quarter-finals afternoon session
- UK Championship
- Friday, December 4th
- Break-off: 13:00 GMT
- Barbican Centre, York
- Live on BBC Two
Two of snooker’s elite potters in Neil Robertson and John Higgins have their first meeting in a baize major for six years on Friday afternoon, while there’s an all-Asian encounter between Liang Wenbo and Marco Fu in the second of four UK Championship quarter-finals.
Neil Robertson v John Higgins
Can you hear the Thunder? There could be stormy skies for Coral’s 15/8 tournament favourite Robertson, as he’s 11-8 down on previous meetings with Scottish payer Higgins.
The Wizard of Wishaw’s return to form is most welcome for this sport north of the border, not least because Robertson smashed Stephen Maguire 6-1 in the last 16.
Australian expat Robertson starts as odds-on 4/9 match favourite, then, but he’s up against a wily veteran in Higgins, who is a three-time UK champion and holds an attractive 7/4 price to take the wind right out of the Thunder’s sails.
With a deciding frame at 13/4 a distinct possibility, Higgins is also a nifty 9/1 to replicate his 6-4 victory from the previous round in what is the standout tie of the last eight.
Liang Wenbo v Marco Fu
Impressive Chinese player Wenbo knocked out tournament favourite Judd Trump in the round of 32, while former UK finalist Fu oozed class when eliminating Masters champion Shaun Murphy to set up this all-Asian affair.
From four previous head-to-heads, Hong Kong cueman Fu has won three, so looks likely to do so again as an odds-on 4/7 match favourite. Liang is far from a rank outsider at 11/8 to advance to the semis, though.
Wenbo, whose best event performance to date was a runner-up spot at the 2009 Shanghai Masters in his homeland, has found the last two rounds tough, but ultimately come through to shock the snooker world by conquering Trump and edging Tom Ford in a final frame decider.
Seeing some less established names in the UK quarter-finals may hint at a changing of the guard, but it’s fantastic Fu and his experience that look worth a wager to take a deciding frame in what should be a close contest. A 6-5 result in his favour is a superb 6/1 shot.