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Championship League Group Four preview: Action continues at Morningside Arena

The Championship League continues on Thursday with seven Group 4 players looking to secure their place in the winners circle.

With three rounds already completed, Kyren Wilson, Stuart Bingham and Jack Lisowski have booked their spot in the final showdown. 

Seven more players are set to battle it out today and it’s a section full of talent with John Higgins, Judd Trump and Mark Selby all in action. 

The Morningside Arena in Leicester is the venue and every player will play each other once in a best-of-five-frame contest (21 matches) after which the top four players will contest in the playoffs, semi-finals and final again over the best-of-five-frames. 

Cuemen are awarded one point for each match they win, then the most frames won and the least racks lost in the league series will determine their position in the league table and there is plenty of prize money up for grabs.

WhatChampionship League Group 4
WhereMorningside Arena, Leicester
WhenThursday, 5th January 2023
How to watchMatchroom.Live

Ace looking to Trump his rivals 

Trump is yet to win a title of any description this season and reaching the final of the Champion of Champions is the highlight of the Ace’s campaign. 

However, Trump is capable of bursting into form at any event and his chances have to be taken seriously. The Bristol cueman faces what is likely to be his toughest test against Selby at midday and the Ace will be looking to draw on what is a pretty impressive record in this event. 

Trump has lifted the Champions League crown on three occasions and the 33-year-old has also twice been a beaten finalist. 

The quick-fire format seems to bring out the best in the Ace and at 8/11 he is an interesting contender when he takes on the Jester this afternoon.

Super Selby set to star 

Selby has already had a spin in this event having played in Group 3 earlier this week and that was an encouraging effort. 

The Jester won three of his group-stage matches, with two defeats coming by just a single frame and that saw him through to the playoff round of the competition. 

Again the Leicester potter was beaten 3-2, by the eventual section winner Kyren Wilson, but it was an encouraging effort from the four-time world champion. 

Selby lifted the English Open crown in December, and at 8/11, the in-form Jester looks a nice price when he takes on Higgins this afternoon.

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Wizard of Wishaw struggling to find his old magic 

Higgins is an elite-level cueman and one of the best players snooker has even seen. The 47-year-old showed no signs of slowing down when making four ranking event finals last season, finishing runner-up in the Masters and winning the Championship League. 

Those efforts would clearly give hope of a strong performance and at 8/15 the Scot is certainly of interest when he faces Robert Milkins today. 

However, this season has been one to forget for the Wizard of Wishaw. 

Higgins failed to qualify for the German Masters, European Masters and World Grand Prix, the four-time World Champion lost in the first-round of the British Open and UK Championship and in total the Wizard of Wishaw has won just four ranking matches all season. 

Higgins will be hoping to turn things around in Leicester ahead of Sunday’s Masters.

Best of the rest 

Gary Wilson, Milkins, Matt Selt and Ricky Walden complete the Group 4 line-up. 

Milkins, Selt and Walden have had plenty of match practice, having already been in action in this event this week, but Wilson comes into the competition fresh and the chances of the Tyneside Terror look the most obvious. 

The Wallsend cueman won the Scottish Open earlier this season and he is a danger to the entire field if his break-building clicks into gear. Wilson is 1/1 to see off Walden this afternoon and that offer looks to underplay his chances of getting the better of the Chester cueman.

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