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Jack Lisowski v Liu Hongyu: Prediction, tips, odds & how to watch

Jack Lisowski slipped into the dreaded 17th spot in the world rankings and now finds himself in the minefield that is the World Championship Qualifiers.

'Jackpot' will be hoping he's not the prize for a giant-killing when he enters the fray against talented teenager Liu Hongyu at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday.

The signs haven't been good of late for Lisowski and his young opponent cannot be discounted after he ruthlessly ended Jimmy White's hopes of making the Crucible.

This one could get tense as snooker's second tier make their final approach to Judgement Day and the handing out of those all-important Crucible Theatre tickets.

Jack Lisowski v Liu Hongyu

Jack Lisowski v Liu Hongyu odds

Jack Lisowski – 2/7
Liu Hongyu – 5/2

Jack Lisowski v Liu Hongyu tips

Liu Hongyu to win the first frame @ 6/5

Lisowski missed out on direct entry to the Crucible and the main draw and joins big names like Neil Robertson, Stuart Bingham, Stephen Maguire, Anthony McGill, Ryan Day and Hossein Vafaei in qualifying.

The 32-year-old hasn't required the qualifying stages for the Crucible since the 2018 World Championship but he's as low as 30th on the one-year ranking list and will need to come through two best-of-19s to get his place in the final field.

His 19-year-old opponent is match-fit after thrashing six-time world finalist Jimmy White 10-3 to get here. He started that match really well, grabbing the first frame and doing the heavy lifting to lead 5-1 and take complete control after breaks of 74, 60 and 135.

Lisowski comes in cold to this game on Saturday morning and will be feeling under pressure to start out with. His opponent will relish a fast start and may need it if he's to go on and be a factor.  

Total Frames Over 16.5 @ 1/1

Hongyu is nearing the end of the first year of his two-year exemption on the World Snooker Tour, gained after he won the Asia-Pacific Championship last May.

He topped his group at the Championship League on his tour debut last summer and his first season has gone quite nicely, including two wins over former world champion Shaun Murphy, one of those en route to a ranking-event semi-final at the English Open.

He also beat compatriot – and likely childhood hero – Ding Junhui as well as Mark Williams in that run. Ding exacted revenge at the World Open when they met more recently.

All things considered, for a teenager in his first season on tour, there have been more than enough positives.

Drawing the Whirlwind in his qualifying opener was hardly ideal. The Londoner is not a force any more, but playing such an icon of the game would bring with it a mental challenge, one that Hongyu passed with flying colours.

He could be more than a match for Lisowski, if the Englishman is anything short of his best, and this match should go deep, either way.

Liu Hongyu to win 10-7 @ 14/1

If this does indeed get close, Lisowski has more to lose. He's a six-time ranking tournament finalist – but has repeatedly failed to come out on top in any of them.

Indeed, Lisowski's results this season suggest he's in real peril for an upset now.

He made the semi-finals at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast – going down tamely 6-1 to Chris Wakelin – and beat world champion Luca Brecel at The Masters, but elsewhere more recently there have been defeats against the likes of Zak Surety and Lukas Kleckers.

Hongyu's wins over Murphy, Ding and Williams this season show that he will relish this challenge and the chance to face either Matthew Stevens or Jimmy Robertson for a shot at making his Crucible debut.

Si Jiahui was fearless in lighting up the World Championship last season, then aged 20, and his compatriot is unlikely to be blinded by the prospect of facing the lights.

Jack Lisowski v Liu Hongyu how to watch and TV channel

Selected qualifying matches for the World Snooker Championship will feature on bet365's Live Streaming service, whilst and discovery+ will also be providing coverage across all 10 days.

The final two days of qualification (Judgement Day) will also be shown live on the WST's official YouTube channel.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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