Richard Mann previews the quarter-final action from the World Snooker Championship and fancies Kyren Wilson to see off Mark Allen.
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His burgeoning career might still be in its infancy but Kyren Wilson is developing quite the love affair with the Crucible Theatre and looks a good bet to down Mark Allen in their quarter-finals match.
This is only Wilson’s fourth world championship appearance but he has already made it to three quarter-finals and has enjoyed a fine season this term.
Wilson reached the finals of the World Open, English Open and the Masters earlier in the campaign before advertising his more recent well-being with last four finishes at the Romanian Masters and the China Open.
His form this week has been most impressive, knocking in two centuries and a break of 91 in his 10-3 defeat of Matthew Stevens before making eight 50+ contributions in his 13-5 victory over Jamie Jones.
A big improvement in Wilson’s game has been his cue-ball control, which has been much more pinpoint of late, and it is no surprise to see him scoring more heavily now than at any other point in his career.
A brilliant long potter, Wilson has been guilty of losing the cue ball when in the balls in the past but he is beginning to look much more solid in that department and, with his excellent safety play and unflappable temperament always making him a tough nut to crack, he would appear to have most bases covered at present.
He won’t find Allen an easy test to pass, though, the Northern Irishman another to have enjoyed a strong start to this tournament.
Allen came through a comfortable opening match against Liam Highfield 10-5 before finding another gear against Joe Perry.
That encounter looked set to go all the way when the two players were locked at 8-8 but Allen returned for the concluding session in supreme form, knocking in two century breaks as he won five frames on the bounce to close out the match.
Allen enjoyed the finest hour of his career when beating Wilson in final of the Masters in London earlier in the year but there is no doubt that the latter has enjoyed much better results since with Allen appearing unlikely to claim the final automatic qualifying spot for this event at one point.
That form, along with his strong Crucible pedigree, makes Wilson an attractive proposition at 13/10 and the suspicion is that his superior match play will see him over the line in this best of 25 frames contest.
Posted at 1500 BST on 30/04/18