The first Triple Crown event of the season is well under underway in York this week as day two of the UK Championship looms on Sunday. As always we have our snooker aficionado Dean Strand (@DSSnookerTips) on hand with his preview and predictions. Here are his two selections for the day.
2pts Yuan Sijun to beat Luca Brecel - 7/5
Reigning world champion Luca Brecel begins his UK Championship campaign today as he takes on 23-year-old Yuan Sijun.
There was a lot of interest on the ‘Belgian Bullet’ heading into this season after his heroics in Sheffield but so far he’s struggled to live up to the title of World Champion. He looked good in the Shanghai Masters at the start of the season but since then in ranking events he’s struggled with two first round defeats, last 64 and last 16 exits in his last four tournaments including a 4-0 defeat to Hawkins in the Champion of Champions last time out.
Yuan Sijun has been one of the more consistent players on tour this season, his 63% frame win ratio for the season is bettered by only six players on tour and he’s now won 15 of his last 20 matches. Scoring heavily too with 18 centuries already for the season, including five in his two qualifiers for this event.
2pts Matthew Selt to beat Ali Carter - 7/4
Matthew Selt is another player who’s shown good consistency this season winning 14 of his last 19 matches. Four of those five defeats have come against Jack Lisowski or Judd Trump so it’s taking very good players to stop him at the moment.
Carter had a good run to the final in Wuhan but aside from that his performances haven’t been brilliant this season. He had a few defeats to lower ranked players in the early stages of the season and was beaten heavily by Allen in the Champion of Champions last time out.
These two haven’t met in a ranking event for five years but in their latest Championship League meeting last season, Selt came out on top 3-0.
You can follow the UK Championship with all our latest Snooker Betting Tips at Betfred Insights.