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 bee 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 second of those clashes.
Stuart Bingham to beat Ricky Walden @ 8/11
In only their second meeting, in the final of the Wuxi Classic last year, Ricky Walden slammed Stuart Bingham 10-4 on his way to a second ranking title win, but in the few frames that Bingham did win he showed the type of ability that has made him one of the toughest opponents on tour.
The 37-year-old racked up three centuries, including his third competitive 147 that day, showing a glimpse of the class that led him to victory in the Australian Goldfields Open two years ago and the Premier League last season.
It has been another consistent campaign thus far for the Basildon cueist, reaching the round-of-16 eight times in his 13 starts with the highlight being his semi-final run at the 6-Red World Championship.
That effort in an event that also starts in the group stages bodes well for the chances of the 37-year-old but again it is easy to see why they are almost inseparable in the betting as Walden also performed well there, progressing to the round-of-16.
A victory in Event 3 of the European Tour has also helped to keep the 31-year-old ticking over but his recent form leaves Bingham a worthy favourite. Walden has won only three matches in the last three events that have carried ranking points and there has to be a concern that with such good prize money on offer this week the pressure may again work against the chances of the Chester player.
Bingham has performed far better in the last few tournaments of note and has more experience to call upon for this type of format. Bingham has to be the choice to progress to the group final at 8/11.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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