It's the semi-finals of the UK Championship and our golf tipster Dean Strand thinks we might see an upset on Saturday...
2pts Hossein Vafaei -1.5 v Ronnie O’Sullivan - 11/4
I’ve backed O’Sullivan in the last couple of rounds but that’s mainly been due to the mentality of his opposition. He started well against McGill in the first round but his form has been steadily declining all week and he was awful for long periods against Yuelong today, gifting his opponent a lot of chances to get back into the match after leading 4-1.
I’m expecting Vafaei to provide much tougher opposition, he’s been superb all week, making 7 centuries and beating Shaun Murphy and the in-form Zhang Anda with very good performances. The Prince of Persia also thrashed Matthew Selt 6-1 in the 2nd round, who’s also been in decent form lately.
I prefer the handicap to the match result here, as if it does go close, I’d expect O’Sullivan to find a bit extra and see the match through, as he has been doing in his last couple of matches.
Ronnie’s defeats over the last year have tended to be heavy ones and he doesn’t seem to have much fight in him when trailing heavily.
In the last year he has lost 5-1 to Haotian, 5-0 to Pengdei, 4-1 to Gould and in this event last season lost in the Quarter Finals to Ding 6-0.
If the two players' respective current form continues, then Vafaei could run out an easy winner here. The 29-year-old has only beaten O’Sullivan once before but did so 5-0 on that occasion.
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