The Ricoh Arena opens its doors for the second night of the Champion of Champions with the winner of Group 3 to be decided. Four players have been split in two matches with the victor from each facing one and other for a chance to progress to Saturday’s semi-finals. Below is a preview of the first of those clashes.
Marco Fu to beat Judd Trump @ 6/5
Judd Trump was vying for favouritism for the World Championship at various points last year but a forgettable season has left the Bristolian out of the conversation.
Whilst Trump’s senior by only two years, Ding Junhui, was making history by becoming the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1993 to win three successive ranking titles, Trump has been struggling, winning only two matches from the four main events this campaign.
First round defeats at the Indian Open and Shanghai Masters would have been particularly galling for the cocksure 24-year-old and he will be seeing the potentially lucrative opportunity this week as a chance to inject some confidence into his game ahead of the most prestigious period of the calendar.
It’s not an easy opener for the Englishman though as his opponent Marco Fu has been in excellent nick, just denying Ding that aforementioned record in a deciding frame in the final of the International Open at the end of October. That was the Hong Kong cuesmith’s second final of the campaign so far after making the last two of Event 3 of the European Tour and it is understandable why the layers have found it almost impossible to split them in the betting.
Discouragement for Fu supporters is easily found by inspecting the personal history between the two as the 35-year-old has been convincingly beaten in their last four meetings. However, the last of those encounters was at the Crucible back in April and it is since then that Trump has lost his way.
Fu has won three of their previous matches in the past so it’s not a completely alien concept to him and in this short format – the opening matches of the group stages are only best-of-7 – it may pay to trust the more reliable Fu rather than Trump, whose game wholly depends on his confidence in it. A low percentage tactical approach was winning matches for the younger man six months ago but now those shots are simply not going in. As a result the selection has to be for Fu to give himself a chance at another good pay day at 6/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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