Wednesday, 13 April 2011

World Championship Predictions: Moss v Pegram

It's time to stick a neck out.

There's nothing worse than sitting on the fence.

This year's World Championship is so close, it's within touching distance.

To add a bit of spice to the competition, OnCue editor Gary Moss (GM) is going head-to-head with former professional player Jason Pegram (JP) to predict every score at the Crucible.

The contest begins with a look down the first round matches.

Points will be awarded as follows:

1 point for a correct winner
2 points for a correct winner and within frame of the scoreline
3 points for a correct winner and the perfect scoreline

Let the battle commence...

Neil Robertson v Judd Trump

JP: There's a bit of pressure on Neil as defending champion and Judd is improving with every tournament. This will be a close match but experience will count. 10-7 Robertson

GM: What a corker for the first day. Both players are good front runners so the first session could be where this match is won or lost. Neil has progressed past the first round in each of the last five seasons, so I think he'll shade it. Robertson 10-8 

Marco Fu v Martin Gould

JP: This is a really tough one to call. I think Fu is a better all-round match player. Fu 10-9

GM: A repeat of last year's first round match. Gould has come on leaps and bounds this season, so I fancy him to beat the seed with a bit more to spare than last time round where it went to a decider. Gould 10-7

Graeme Dott v Mark King

JP: Another hard match to call. This could be quite a slow one but Dott likes playing at the Crucible. Dott 10-8

GM: Dott always saves his best for Sheffield and I fancy him to go on another run here, possibly making it to the one-table stage again. Dott 10-6

Ali Carter v Dave Harold

JP: Harold will try to frustrate Ali. He may stay in touch in the first session, but I think he'll get beaten. Carter 10-6

GM: Carter should have far too much firepower for Harold. He's got enough graft about him too, so he has the all-round package. No danger in this one. Carter 10-5

Ding Junhui v Jamie Burnett

JP: I think Ding will come flying straight out of the blocks. He's one of the players I can see winning the title this year. He'll be a comfortable first round winner with a couple of centuries. Ding 10-4

GM: Surely it's about time Ding enjoyed a run at the Crucible. He has a good starter on paper but this may be tougher than people think. Burnett has had a good season and could cause a few problems. Ding 10-6

Peter Ebdon v Stuart Bingham

JP: I'd love to see my mate Stuart win this one. Over the shorter distance I'd definitely fancy him. I hate to say it but I think Ebdon will be too strong. Ebdon 10-7

GM: One of the best clashes in the opening round. This one could go either way and should be a real ding-dong battle. Bingham really impressed me at the UK Championship and is playing as well as I've seen from him this season. Bingham 10-8

Stephen Hendry v Joe Perry

JP: Purely on experience, I can see Hendry winning this one. Hendry 10-7

GM: Pressure on Hendry here. He needs a run to secure his place among the top 16. His career has often seen him deliver when he needs to most. I think the Scot will show his good and bad but eventually pull through. Hendry 10-9

Mark Selby v Jimmy Robertson

JP: There will be plenty of nerves for Robertson in his first year at the Crucible. He's drawn a tough player as well. Selby 10-4

GM: Everything is in Selby's favour for this one. He's got a strong shout of becoming world champion. I can't see any other result. Selby 10-4

Mark Williams v Ryan Day

JP: This could be a close one. But Williams will be buzzing. He's back on a roll and scoring well. Williams 10-6

GM: An all-Welsh opener and a match that should be open and entertaining. Both form players and both have good experience. Williams though is just probably too good at the moment. Williams 10-7

Jamie Cope v Andrew Pagett

JP: I don't know too much about Andrew as a player but I was next door to him at a Pontins event earlier this season and he seemed to be a fun lad. He should enjoy the match and I'm sure he'll entertain the crowd. Cope 10-6

GM: I can honestly see a shock on the cards in this one. Pagett played exceptionally well in qualifying and Cope is under huge pressure to win with his top 16 status under threat. You heard it here first. Pagett 10-9

Mark Allen v Matthew Stevens

JP: I'd love Matthew to win this one. I know him well. He's improved this season and will probably make a real match of this. But, I think he'll just miss out. Allen 10-9

GM: Two real talents coming head-to-head. It will be an open and attacking game. I'll be sitting back and enjoying it. Stevens is perhaps the player who is more content at the moment. Stevens 10-8

Stephen Maguire v Barry Hawkins

JP: This will be another gritty match. 10-6 Maguire

GM: I don't think you can write Maguire off from going all the way this year. He's a real confidence player and has been a consistent performer this season. Hawkins has yet to win at the Crucible in his five visits. I don't think he'll have much luck again. Maguire 10-7

Shaun Murphy v Marcus Campbell

JP: Marcus has had a good season but Shaun should be too strong for him. Murphy 10-6

GM: Shaun is such a complete player and potentially one of the toughest first round draws. He never looks susceptible to an upset. I think he'll find his groove in this match and put a marker down that he could win the title. Murphy 10-4

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Dominic Dale

JP: I hope Ronnie comes out and plays how we all know he can. I just want to see effort. O'Sullivan 10-4

GM: A good time for Dominic to play Ronnie but surely he'll be more interested as it's the biggest event of the season. I can't see him challenging for the title but I predict an overdue ranking match win. O'Sullivan 10-6

Ricky Walden v Rory McLeod

JP: This won't be pretty. I'm expecting a real scrap. Walden 10-9

GM: Intriguing battle as both players bid for their first wins at the Crucible. Walden shades it in the attacking department for me. Walden 10-8

John Higgins v Stephen Lee

JP: Lee is playing very well this season but he's up against the best player in the world in my opinion. Higgins 10-7

GM: Poor Stephen Lee, meeting him again after the UK Championship. I think it could be a similar story. He'll play well but lose out. Higgins 10-7

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