UK Championship Snooker last 16: Robertson and Maguire collide
Lee Gormley | December 2, 2015
UK Championship last 16 continues
- UK Championship
- Thursday, December 3rd
- First break-off: 13:00 GMT
- Barbican Centre, York
- Live on BBC Two
Robertson meets Maguire for tasty UK clash
After many intriguing baize battles during the last 16 openers, the UK Championship continues on its 10th day in York, and another showdown between two former champions Neil Robertson and Stephen Maguire is the pick of Thursday’s exciting action.
The prolific potting pair first met in 2001 and have since contested 24 times on the baize, with Maguire maybe surprisingly ahead on head-to-heads, having tasted success on 15 occasions compared to his Australian opponent’s nine wins.
Although, it’s the Melbourne ace that enters their latest meeting as the odds-on 4/9 favourite with Coral to triumph, with talented Scot Maguire 7/4 to continue his dominance in previous match-ups. The illustrious duo have met on the biggest of snooker stages beforehand, with Glasgow cueist Maguire having recently added a German Masters quarter-final win to his previous Masters victory over Robertson at the same stage last year.
‘The Thunder from Down Under’ has endured a tough time against the Scot in recent meetings, despite being the favourite, after losing five of his last six match-ups since 2013. Though, before that rampant streak from Maguire, Robertson earned a 6-2 UK quarter-final coup between the pair, and he is 11-2 to earn that same emphatic result this time out.
In the other afternoon session, Judd Trump’s conqueror Liang Wenbo is 11/2 to repeat his heroics with another 6-4 victory over Tom Ford, while the latter Leicester break-builder is 11/8 to triumph after disposing of Kyren Wilson previously.
In-form Higgins battles Burnett in first session
John Higgins is enjoying a career revival this season, seemingly looking like his former astute self again in York, and the in-form Scot headlines day 10’s evening session at the Barbican Centre in his battle with fellow countryman Jamie Burnett.
In a match-up between two of the tournament’s more senior potters, three-time UK champion Higgins and Hamilton cueist Burnett, both now 40 years of age, clash during Thursday’s evening session on Yorkshire soil.
Higgins will look to continue his career renaissance with a ninth consecutive victory over his compatriot, having won all previous eight meetings with Burnett, and his fine form sees him now come in at 11/2 with Coral for a fourth UK title.
He is 9/2 to overcome his fellow veteran 6-3 this time around and continue his dominance in this particular match-up, winning every one of their contests since 1996, though Burnett is 5/2 to cause another tournament upset. Higgins is also 17/10 to lead 3-1 after the first four frames or 5/1 to open an early 4-0 gap.
Gould seeks Swail success in other evening encounter
Meanwhile, Martin Gould is another player that has been enjoying a return to previous form, and he faces Joe Swail as part of the evening action, having impressively dispatched Northern Irishman Mark Allen 6-4 in the last round.
‘The Pinner Potter’ is 5/1 to record a second successive 6-4 triumph over another potter bearing from Northern Ireland, while 46-year-old Belfast competitor Swail is 7/4 to progress to the quarter-finals.
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Coral’s top tip: Can Stephen Maguire be the man to stop Neil Robertson? Back him at 7/4 to prevail in their latest meeting at the UK Championship.