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2023 World Snooker Championship Day 4 Preview: Judd Trump begins his quest for the world title

Former champion Judd Trump returns to the Crucible on another intriguing day of action from the 2023 World Snooker Championship on Tuesday.

Jack Lisowski (8/15) v Noppon Saengkham (6/4)

WhatJack Lisowski v Noppon Saengkham
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When10:00, Tuesday 18th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsJack Lisowski 8/15, Noppon Saengkham 6/4

Noppon Saengkham has already come in for some support to win his first main-tour meeting with Jack Lisowski, but with the Thai possibly not quite at his absolute peak - this is a chance for last year's World Championship quarter-finalist to make a positive start on his return to the Crucible Theatre. 

Lisowski is still without a title of note after another tough season thus far, but the experience he gained in Sheffield 12 months ago when he ousted Neil Robertson in round two before going close to upending John Higgins in the quarter-finals was immense. 

The fact the oddsmakers appear happy to lay Lisowski may be down to him enduring what looks like another campaign without a trophy. 

But it's possible that we could see renewed spark from the seed against an opponent who did well to pip Zhang Anda 10-9 in the qualifiers but may have also been a shade fortunate to survive that outing. 

Saengkham, who also defeated Martin O'Donnell 10-6 prior to Zhang, can be a dangerous opponent but if Lisowski is on top of his game he should have enough ammunition to progress, although if the favourite produces too many errors the outsider is perfectly capable of taking advantage. 

A close clash looks probable so going over the total frames - the consensus line is 16.5 - could be popular at 4/5.

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Gary Wilson (4/11) v Elliot Slessor (11/5)

WhatGary Wilson v Elliot Slessor
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When10:00, Tuesday 18th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsGary Wilson 4/11, Elliot Slessor 11/5

Although they've played each other umpteen times at the North East Snooker Centre where they both practise, Tynesiders Gary Wilson and Elliot Slessor have met only once in official competition and Wilson edged a 4-3 victory in the 2021 British Open when both cuemen posted century breaks. 

It could again be tense in their second main-tour clash in Sheffield and while some fancy Wilson as a genuine title outsider this year, it's difficult not to be impressed by the strides Slessor has been making. 

Gateshead native Slessor was in seriously impressive touch in the qualifiers – he defeated Ian Martin 10-3, Liam Highfield 10-9 and Zhou Yuelong 10-5, compiling a brace of tons against Martin and the same against Zhou. 

He looks as if he possesses bags of fighting spirit and that could come in handy on his second competitive visit to the Crucible – he lost 10-7 to Yan Bingtao on his debut there in 2020. 

Wilson, 37, made the semi-finals of the Worlds in 2019 with fine victories over Luca Brecel, Mark Selby and Ali Carter until Judd Trump proved a bridge too far in the last four on his way to lifting the title. 

The Wallsend potter won his first title of note in the Scottish Open in early December. But while Wilson can be a dynamic performer who is no stranger to stringing a run of frames together, Slessor may not be an easy opponent to overcome for the seed given the outsider's fine form going into the tournament. 

He’s a 4/7 shot with a handicap start of 3.5 frames.

Judd Trump (1/3) v Anthony McGill (12/5)

WhatJudd Trump v Anthony McGill
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When14:30, Tuesday 18th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsJudd Trump 1/3, Anthony McGill 12/5

Former world number one Judd Trump starts his quest for a second World Championship triumph with a clash against one of the most dangerous qualifiers in Anthony McGill. 

And while McGill, despite posting a century break in each of his two qualifying wins, may not be quite at his absolute peak in terms of expected heavy scoring, the Scot is still playing well enough to make this clash competitive. 

For example, Cao Yupeng led McGill 3-0 in qualifying but the Glaswegian won eight of the next nine frames on his way to a 10-6 triumph. 

McGill, who pipped in-form John Astley in his first qualifying outing, has already said he’ll be “looking to do some damage” at the Crucible, but Trump has won nine of their previous 10 meetings and held the sign over his opponent in their early clashes. 

However, McGill has fared better against the 2019 Crucible king in their recent rumbles and Trump, who was victorious in the Masters in January and is bidding to make it back-to-back world finals this year, edged their only previous Sheffield encounter 13-11. 

So with former top-16 player McGill, who made the world semi-finals in 2020, being a danger it would be no surprise to see this clash go long again. Over 16.5 total frames is a 10/11 chance.

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