Liang Wenbo

Snooker World Championship Preview: Liang Chasing Ding Upset

A preview of Friday’s matches at the World Championship in Sheffield.

Liang Wenbo is relishing his all-Chinese showdown with Ding Junhui in the second round of the World Championship and is 21/10 to cause an upset.

The 30-year-old English Open champion registered a 10-7 win over Stuart Carrington to advance past the first round at the Crucible for the first time since 2008.

Ding, meanwhile, overcame another compatriot in Zhou Yuelong 10-5 in the first round as he aims to go one further than last year when we lost to Mark Selby in the final.

Liang has won four of his six meetings with Ding, who starts at 3/8 for the win and is now the 8/1 third favourite, with odds available at 21/10 for there to be under 21.5 frames in the first-to-13 encounter.

Liang said on “Me and Ding are very good friends. I’ll just enjoy the game and give the fans a game to enjoy, it should be a good match.”

Also on Friday, four-time world champion John Higgins meets Mark Allen in the second round.

Higgins saw off Martin Gould 10-6 while Allen had a much sterner test as he edged out Jimmy Robertson 10-8.

The world number six said: “I used to dream about winning the world title, I thought I could do it and I did do it.

“In the last couple of years I’ve not had those dreams, so maybe that’s the reason I might never get a fifth world title but I’ll still keep trying. Maybe my subconscious is telling me ‘you’re never going to win it again’.

“Mark Allen is a great player, I always have good games against him, I respect his game. He’ll tell you himself that he probably should have done better than he’s done but it shows just how tough it is, there’s so many good players vying for tournaments.”

Higgins is 13/25 to progress and Allen 31/20, with the Scot to prevail by a 13-8 or 13-9 scoreline at 10/1 and 9/1 respectively worth considering.