JUDD TRUMP V RONNIE O’SULLIVAN
This is a match to be savoured if their last two encounters are anything to go by. Trump beat O’Sullivan 6-5 in the recent UK Championship and 4-3 in the PTC final in Antwerp.
It’s a match which deserves an evening slot to reach the widest possible audience, but will be played this afternoon as this is when the BBC has its main live programme (Hairy Bikers permitting).
Trump is at ease with the big stage and playing the best snooker of his life but O’Sullivan proved against Ding Junhui that he is still a threat in these major tournaments, regardless of his world ranking.
The Masters has been a happy hunting ground for him: four titles and nine finals. 50 centuries in 19 appearances.
This is some record and O’Sullivan will be fully motivated to remind everyone that he is still a force.
Prediction: O’Sullivan to win 6-4.
JOHN HIGGINS V GRAEME DOTT
For some reason Dott is straight back on having played last night (I think it’s been three weeks since Mark Williams’s first round match). He won’t care. Dott proved once again against Ali Carter that he has the nerve to hold firm in these big events.
He has never been past the Masters quarter-finals but beat Higgins 6-4 in the first round last season.
Higgins looked pretty good I thought against Matthew Stevens, although the Welshman wasn’t really at the races.
The reigning world champion admitted to feeling overawed at Wembley but the Ally Pally feels like a more standard venue and this may be the time this season where Higgins starts to come good.
Prediction: Higgins to win 6-4.