Free snooker betting tips: Richard Mann previews round four of the UK Championship

Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire

World champion Mark Williams takes on Stephen Maguire in the fourth round of the UK Championship on Wednesday and Richard Mann is keen to strike a bet.

UK Championship Fourth Round: Recommended bets

3pts Stephen Maguire to beat Mark Williams at 11/8


The UK Championship is beginning to find its stride as we reach the fourth-round stage and one of the last 16 matches, that between current world champion Mark Williams and Stephen Maguire on Wednesday, has the potential to prove a cracker of a contest.

Williams - a two-time UK Championship winner - is a general 8/13 chance to progress to the last eight following his comfortable defeat of Noppon Saengkham on Monday evening but he might have his work cut out against Maguire, a semi-finalist here 12 months ago.

Maguire is a terrific player when on song and he bulldozed the field when lifting the UK Championship back in 2004 while he has also made the last four of the World Championship twice.

Despite those notable achievements, it is probably fair to say that for a player as highly skilled as he is, the Scot probably hasn't amassed the silverware his talents deserve.

A fine break builder who scores heavily, Maguire likes to take the game on and his proficient long game can make for a frightening proposition when at his best. With a decent safety game to boot, Maguire boasts the tools to beat anyone in the sport on his day.

Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire comes alive at the UK Championship

Furthermore, there is never a fear factor when facing up to the biggest names in the game and it took a couple of impressive late shows from Ronnie O'Sullivan to see off Maguire in both the World Grand Prix and World Championship last season.

Maguire has already made the semi-finals of the Riga Masters and English Open this term and his form this week has been really good, knocking out Scott Donaldson and Ali Carter, and he looks a bet at 11/8 to take down Williams.

Having suffered a loss in form so bad that he nearly retired from the sport at the end of the 2016/2017 season, Williams was rejuvenated last term and followed victories in the Northern Ireland Open and German Open by winning his third World Championship at the Crucible in April.

Mark Williams with his third world title
Mark Williams with his third world title

Williams began the new campaign by lifting the World Open in China but his performances have tailed off since, something the Welshman has attributed to his lack of practice and the absence of dedication between tournaments.

The Welshman seems intent on enjoying his year as world champion and while he savours every moment, his results on the table have inevitably dipped.

Williams didn't make it past the last 64 in Belfast this time around, while Kyren Wilson blew him away in the Champions of Champions after he had made an early exit from the International Championship less than two week earlier.

He just hasn't been the same animal as last season, far from it, though his two matches this week have signalled something of a return to form - comfortable defeats of Adam Duffy and Daniel Wells before seeing off Saengkham in the third round.

Nevertheless, Maguire looks the more focused of the two players right now, is playing the better snooker and represents fair value at 11/8.

Posted at 1200 GMT on 04/12/18.


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