Free snooker betting tips: UK Championship round two - including Ronnie O'Sullivan

We are at the second round stage at the UK Championship with Ronnie O'Sullivan taking on veteran Ken Doherty on Sunday.

Recommended bets: UK Championship second round

2pts Liam Highfield to beat Luca Brecel at 19/13

3pts David Gilbert to beat Peter Ebdon at 8/11

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Ronnie O'Sullivan's quest for a record seventh UK Championship began with a resounding 6-1 defeat of Luke Simmonds and Ken Doherty is next up for The Rocket.

Former world champion, Doherty, has enjoyed a good few months, having won the UK Seniors Championship in October, and he knocked in a break of 130 when breezing past the well-touted Yuan Sijun in round one.

Doherty will find O'Sullivan a different kettle of fish, though, and it will be a major surprise if this isn't plain sailing for the defending champion.

As stated in my outright preview and Antepost Angle, the case for O'Sullivan remains strong and with Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby already headed home, it is no surprise to see him shortening further in the betting over the last 24 hours.

Elsewhere in the second round, Liam Highfield looks overpriced at 19/13 to beat the struggling Luca Brecel on Sunday night.

Brecel is a highly gifted player but has been nowhere near his best so far this season and had to work really hard in his opening match here against Fan Zhengyi.

Highfield, on the other hand, looks to be steadily finding his feet as a professional and impressed when beating Robin Hull 6-4 earlier in the week.

Despite finding himself 2-0 down in that match, Highfield produced some really good snooker to beat an experienced campaigner in Hull and although only making it as far as the last 64 in the Northern Ireland Open, he took Jack Lisowski to a final-frame decider there.

Highfield did the same in China earlier in the season when narrowly losing out 6-5 to eventual winner Mark Allen in the International Championship.

He played really well in both of those games, demonstrating his capabilities at the highest level, and a decent run at a major tournament shouldn't be far away.

Liam Highfield
Liam Highfield

Earlier on Sunday, David Gilbert looks worth a good bet at 8/11 to beat Peter Ebdon.

Gilbert has played really well in recent weeks and made a couple of hundreds in his 6-3 defeat of Ashley Carty in the first round.

The UK Championship comes hot on the heels of a run to the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland for Gilbert, having made the last 16 of the International Championship previously.

Gilbert can take some stopping when getting on a roll, as 14 centuries so far this season would testify, and he might just have too many guns for Ebdon who had found results hard to come back until also enjoying a good run in Belfast.

Having climbed to the fringes of the top 16, Gilbert looks the more polished and reliable player nowadays and the incentive of a good run here booking his place at the Masters in January suggests he will be fighting tooth and nail over the next few days.

Posted at 1600 GMT on 30/11/18.


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