Underdogs in League of Their Own
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2pts Peter Ebdon to beat Mark Allen at 3/1 (Stan James).
2pts Shaun Murphy to beat Neil Robertson at 15/8 (General).
1pt double Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy at 10.5/1 (Stan James).
Premier League Snooker continues at the Spiceball Leisure Centre in Banbury on Thursday as Mark Allen takes on Peter Ebdon followed by Neil Robertson up against Shaun Murphy.
Ebdon proved in his opening 5-1 win here against Stephen Lee that he can play quickly enough to be a threat in this format.
He only plays so slowly in tournaments because he's convinced himself that he has a better chance that way. His opponent Allen didn't have much run when losing to John Higgins in their opener two weeks ago but the standard from both players was quite poor.
If Ebdon can reproduce that performance then the 3/1 offered by Stan James is far too big and it has to be worth a punt.
Remember, at the start of his career Ebdon played quickly and his heavy win against Lee proved he can perform under time pressure, in fact it helps him to be decisive.
In the second match of the night Neil Robertson will fancy his chances after thrashing Mark Selby 5-1 in week two of the event.
The Aussie did have some run at the start though which set the tone for the match, but he was ultimately impressive.
Contrast that with Shanghai last week when he laboured to a 5-2 over the wildcard Chen Feilong and then struggled when whitewashed by a surprisingly clinical Joe Perry, and his credentials become less convincing.
His opponent Murphy has been knocking on the door recently and is in good form, as was demonstrated when salvaged a draw against Stuart Bingham having gone 3-0 down.
In addition, he made the semi-finals of both the Shanghai Masters and PTC3 in Gloucester earlier this month, and Murphy needs a win here to have any real chance of making the play-offs so there's big incentive too.
Given the recent form of both players I'm surprised that layers make Robertson favourite.
The 15/8 about Murphy - who clearly has the bottle to perform when he absolutely must - should be snapped up and we'll put him in a small stake double with Ebdon which pays over 10/1.