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2023 World Snooker Championship Tips: Jack Lisowski & Joe Perry to seal their last 16 spots

The seeds are already starting to fall at the iconic Crucible Theatre and our tipster is backing Joe Perry to send another of the top 16 packing at the first round of the 2023 World Snooker Championship.


Jackpot ready to cash in against Thai ace

WhatJack Lisowski v Noppon Saengkham
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When10:00, Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsJack Lisowski 8/15, Noppon Saengkham 6/4
BEST BETJack Lisowski -1.5 frames 8/11

Jack Lisowski produced arguably the finest match play of his career in the World Championship last year and there are hopes that Jackpot can step up with that experience behind him.

He knocked out 2010 Crucible king Neil Robertson before getting pipped by four-time champion John Higgins in the quarter-finals.

Yet this year, after another campaign in which he has failed to shed his tag of the best player never to have won a ranking title of note, the oddsmakers are far from sure that he will open his account in positive fashion against Noppon Saengkham.

Thai ace Saengkham can count himself lucky to be competing at the Crucible given the form Zhang Anda was showing in qualifying. But Saengkham still did well to pip Zhang and should view this year’s Crucible appearance as a bonus.

He has reached the last 16 in his last two visits to the arena, and the oddsmakers seem to believe that could happen again this year. It might, but it would be a lacklustre finish to yet another campaign that promised much were Lisowski to falter in his opener this year.

It’s a first meeting between this pair and that may be part of the reason why the layers are happy to take on Lisowski. But Saengkham may not be performing at his absolute peak, so it’s worth taking an 8/11 chance to back the favourite to concede the Thai a handicap start of 1.5 frames.

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.
 

Perry to edge out the Milkman in a tight contest

WhatRobert Milkins v Joe Perry
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When19:00, Tuesday 18th April & 09:30 Thursday 20th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsRobert Milkins 8/11, Joe Perry 11/10
BEST BETJoe Perry 11/10

Robert Milkins is enjoying the best season of his long career, but the Bristol-born Gloucestershire-based pro may find 11/10 shot Joe Perry a handful in their first-round clash.

Perry would probably rather have seen Mark Davis stay on the tour than defeat his good friend in the final round of qualifying. But Davis blew the final pink and it would not be a surprise to see Perry step up on his last outing.

Prior to that difficult Davis outing, Perry, who has won 13 of his 15 previous clashes with Milkins, had knocked in breaks of 143 and 132 in an impressive qualifying victory over Sanderson Lam so the Welsh Open champion could find himself up against it in his Crucible opener.

Perry remains a high-class performer when on top of his game and he is quite capable of enjoying a decent run in this year’s World Championship. He made the semi-finals in 2008 and is a much more complete player now than he was in his earlier career.

As well as his Llandudno trophy success, the icing on the cake for Milkins was trousering the European Series bonus of £150,000.

But snooker is all about ups and downs and with Perry reluctantly over the difficult business of qualifying, he next gets a chance to remind viewers of his class and he is playing well enough to progress on his 17th Crucible appearance.

By way of contrast, Milkins will be enjoying his ninth competitive visit to the hallowed arena, having made it to the last 16 on only three of eight occasions.
 

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Veteran Williams still one to follow on the biggest stage

WhatMark Williams v Jimmy Robertson
WhereCrucible Theatre, Sheffield
When14:30, Sunday 16th April
How to watchBBC & Eurosport
OddsMark Williams 2/7, Jimmy Robertson 11/4
BEST BETMark Williams -2.5 frames 4/6

Mark Williams played arguably the best snooker at last year’s World Championship and, like many fine wines, the Welshman has been getting better with age.

The three-time Crucible champion is such a natural talent that his level seldom drops in times of need - especially on the biggest stage in the game.

And Williams, whose breakbuilding was immense in Sheffield last year - he made an incredible 16 century breaks in the first four rounds - has the chance to register another decent Crucible performance.

His opening opponent is Jimmy Robertson, no mean performer who generally makes the most of the opportunities that come his way.

Robertson, 36, remains a progressive performer and he should be able to add to his solitary ranking title achieved at the 2018 European Masters.

But trying to lower the colours of Williams is a tough challenge and Robertson, who has lost all 10 of his previous meetings with the Welsh Potting Machine, will do well to stem the flow at the game’s most important venue.

Williams, who has won a whopping 47 of the 60 frames the pair have contested in those clashes, is on the short side to progress to the last 16, but can be chanced trying to concede his opponent a handicap start of 2.5 frames, at odds of 4/6.

Williams’ only final appearance this season has come in the Masters, where he lost 10-8 to Trump, but given the way he played in Sheffield last season he’s impossible to rule out of the title reckoning.
 

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