The opening night of the Players Championship sees two matches being played as we get the second part of the Cazoo Series underway on what is a star-studded Monday evening inside the Aldersley Arena in Wolverhampton.
This tournament is lucrative and important for all sorts of reasons with what is to come over the remainder of the season so the four players on show will be eager to get to six frames and book their spot in the quarter final.
Neil Robertson vs Kyren Wilson
The action on the TV table on Table One comes in that stunning quarter of the draw where four of the top five players in the world are housed. This opener sees The Masters champion Neil Robertson taking on Kyren Wilson who needs two good months if he is going to be at the Tour Championship.
I always like Wilson in this matchup and I’m not deserting him here. Wilson has won four of the last five meetings between these two and only went down in a deciding frame in the one he lost in what was a brilliant English Open quarter final. You would say these two are fairly well matched but Wilson knows he can tie Robertson down and then score when he gets his chances and that is the difference. We all know that is a style which Robertson doesn’t enjoy playing at the best of times. He is even less likely to enjoy it here because he confirmed he had Covid just over a week ago and admitted he felt crap with it so he definitely had the virus. We saw with the likes of Mark Williams earlier in the season the effects that can have and while I wouldn’t expect Robertson to pull out here, I’d be surprised if he is anywhere near 100% physical or technically having had to isolate for five days. Wilson enjoys this contest and given the advantages he should have I think he wins this.
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Mark Williams vs Gary Wilson
The one match on Monday evening on Table Two is a repeat of the British Open final from earlier in the season as Mark Williams, the champion of that event, goes up against Gary Wilson, whose form has somewhat stalled since then.
Both these men will know that they have met four times in all the various competitions and Williams has won the lot. Their British Open final was pretty close with Williams coming out on top 6-4 in what was a high quality final with three centuries in the match but since then Wilson hasn’t won two matches in the same tournament and comes here having lost to Lukas Kleckers in the Turkish Masters qualifying last week. Williams is going from strength to strength at the minute and is playing some really good stuff. He might still be vulnerable over the shorter formats but over these longer ones his class should tell. I would back Williams to cover the handicap but I’m on him outright and this is the first night of the event so I’m happy to watch and hope it is the Welshman who makes it through to the quarter finals
Back K.Wilson to beat N.Robertson for a 3/10 stake at 2.38 with Coral
Back him here: