The European Masters has reached the last four with both the semi-finals being played inside the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on what looks like being a very interested Saturday in the latest leg of the BetVictor Euro Series.
Only one member of the top 16 has made it through to the semi-finals so for three of the four men on show on Saturday this could be a special couple of days. We are up to the best of 11 now so the quality should come to the fore.
Graeme Dott vs Fan Zhengyi
The first semi-final sees the former world champion Graeme Dott in action when he takes on a player who will be competing at this level of a ranking event for the first time in the shape of the impressive Chinese player Fan Zhengyi.
Fan might be in the semi-final for the first time in his career but he should be respected, firstly because this is following up a run to the quarter final of the German Masters and secondly because of who he has beaten this week. In the last three rounds he has taken care of Kyren Wilson, Yan Bingtao and Dave Gilbert so he shouldn’t fear anything other than the occasion here. This has been a typical Dott week so far. He hasn’t been at his best but he has battled hard and held himself together under pressure to make it into this semi-final. If he can go all the way this weekend he could put himself in with a shot of qualifying automatically for the World Championship. Dott is favourite for this match and won their only previous meeting but if Fan settles early and finds his stride he is playing the better snooker for me and looks a bit of value.
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Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Liang Wenbo
The evening fayre should be the better of the two semi-finals as in Ronnie O’Sullivan it contains the only member of the top 16 left in the tournament. He will be looking to book his place in another major final when he meets his good friend Liang Wenbo.
These two have met on a number of occasions, 10 to be precise and while Wenbo has only won one of those matches he has taken O’Sullivan to a deciding frame on no fewer than four occasions so if Liang had held himself together in those concluding frames their head to head could be a lot closer. I don’t think we’ve seen vintage Ronnie so far this week. He has been there for the taking but nobody has put him away. The danger for Liang is that O’Sullivan will find a gear now and be at his best but Liang is scoring really well so if that doesn’t happen then the Chinese player has a chance here. I hope Wenbo comes through this because I’m effectively on him at 40/1, as anyone who followed our tournament preview is, and that is all the betting interest I need here.
Back F.Zhengyi to beat G.Dott for a 3/10 stake at 2.63 with BetVictor
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