UK Championships Snooker: Hendry to roll back the years

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Defending champion John Higgins may be the star attraction on the opening day of the UK Championship, but punters may want to focus on Stephen Hendry producing some of his old spark in his meeting with fellow Scot Stephen Maguire.

In total there are six games on the first day in York.

John Higgins to beat Rory McLeod @ 1/6

Higgins may be most susceptible to defeat in the earlier rounds over a shorter frame length, but should have no trouble seeing off McLeod.

Mark Davis to beat Ding Junhui @ 11/4

Positioned one place outside of the top 16, Davis will consider himself unlucky to have had to qualify for the tournament and faces a slightly out-of-form Ding, who has not made it beyond the last 32 in his last four tournaments.

There are grounds for an upset and Davis certainly looks a value bet at the prices.

Graeme Dott to beat Matt Selt @ 2/5

Selt progressed through two qualifying rounds to make it to York and has the potting game on his day to cause problems.

Dott may not have been at his best of late, but is by far the better all-round player and his tactical advantage can see him through.

Neil Robertson to beat Tom Ford @ 1/5

Robertson is one of the form players heading into the tournament and is arguably close to the form which saw him crowned world champion last year.

Ford is no slouch and whitewashed Xiao Guodong in the final qualifying round 6-0, but he will struggle to live with the break-building of the Australian.

Stephen Hendry to beat Stephen Maguire @ 13/8

Arguably the biggest clash of the first round between two talented Scots.

Maguire has only reached one quarter final of a tournament since early February, while an inconsistent Hendry is not the man to rely upon to have a good day.

Still, Hendry is capable of turning it on and a repeat of his form which saw him reach the semi finals of the Shanghai Masters recently should be enough for victory.

Matthew Stevens to beat Marcus Campbell @ 4/9

Campbell has largely struggled for victories of late against lesser-ranked players than Stevens and it is hard to see the Welshman failing to progress.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.