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2023 World Snooker Championship Day 9 Preview: Wilson and Higgins set for a high-scoring clash

The only second-round match yet to get underway at the 2023 World Snooker Championship sparks into life on day nine as four-time world champion John Higgins takes on maximum man Kyren Wilson.

Higgins eased past David Grace in a 10-3 rout in his Crucible curtain-raiser but should expect a much sterner test from Wilson, whose 10-5 victory over Ryan Day in round one featured the first 147 break of the tournament and four more centuries. 

Also on the menu on Sunday are the second sessions in the contests featuring Jack Lisowski and Anthony McGill, Robert Milkins and Si Jiahui and Gary Wilson and Mark Selby. 

Ronnie O'Sullivan's last-16 clash was also set to conclude on Sunday but the Rocket sealed his quarter-final spot with a session to spare as he posted a dominant 13-2 victory over Iran's Hossein Vafaei.

Kyren Wilson (4/6) v John Higgins (6/5)

WhatKyren Wilson v John Higgins
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When10:00 Sunday, 19:00 Sunday & 13:00 Monday
How to watchbet365 Live Streaming, BBC and Eurosport
OddsKyren Wilson 4/6, John Higgins 6/5

Higgins, a four-time winner of the Sheffield showpiece, and Wilson, runner-up to O'Sullivan in 2020, are two players that come into their own at the Crucible Theatre and their last-16 encounter promises to a belter. 

The Wizard Of Wishaw has an experience edge, was a semi-finalist last year, and has also won both previous World Snooker Championship encounters against the Warrior. 

And although Higgins remains a serious threat to all when on-song, there is a sense that his best days are behind him while Wilson is very much the future of the sport. 

The Warrior has been a model of consistency, not only this season, but particularly on his previous visits to Sheffield. 

The 31-year-old Kettering cueman knows how to peak for the biggest prize of them all, having made at least the quarter-finals in six of the last seven years, and like Higgins, specialises in these multi-session matches. 

So judging by the manner of his empathic 10-5 first-round win over Day, where he mustered five centuries, including a maximum 147 break, he looks a worthy favourite to dismiss the legendary Scot. 

Higgins also made two centuries in his 10-3 victory over Grace, as well as knocks of 98, 97 and 90. That means spectators should expect a free-scoring match, with plenty of big breaks, and the 5/4 on offer for over 4.5 centuries is an option that could make plenty of appeal.

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Anthony McGill (1/10) v Jack Lisowski (6/1)

WhatAnthony McGill v Jack Lisowski
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When14:30 Sunday & 19:00 Monday
How to watchbet365 Live Streaming, BBC and Eurosport
OddsAnthony McGill 1/10, Jack Lisowski 6/1

McGill tends to save his best snooker for the Crucible Theatre and that is how it has proved again as the Glaswegian Gladiator has resumed early control of his last-16 encounter with Lisowski. 

This looked like being one of the matches of the second round with McGill being a solid customer blessed with the perfect all-round game, and the explosive Lisowski the shot-maker boasting all the flair. 

But so far McGill is the only player to have adjusted to the occasion and, having kept Lisowski cold, finds himself 7-1 ahead in this best-of-25 contest. 

The Smiling Assassin has an excellent temperament and is better in the tactical department, which more or less settled the opening session. 

McGill had to come through two qualifiers to make the Sheffield showpiece and then defeated former champion Judd Trump in the opening round. 

The Scot made the semi-final three years ago and based on his performance so far against Lisowski, a performance which has featured two centuries, he could be a dark horse for Crucible glory. 

Victory over Lisowski would see McGill face either Milkins or Jiahui in the quarter-finals, which is why he is as short as 8/1 for the trophy. 

It looks a long way back for Lisowski, who is 6/1 to complete a dramatic turnaround, but punters still looking to get involved may want to consider Jackpot +5.5 frames on the handicap at 1/1

That means the 31-year-old must get to eight frames, although he is expected to come out firing and he is a player that could quickly eat into the deficit if he finds some rhythm.

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