UK Championship Snooker: Mark Allen at risk of first-round exit
The UK Championship has got off to a relatively upset-free start. Will that change on Monday as Mark Williams and three other seeds take to the table for the final four first-round matches?
Judd Trump to beat Dominic Dale @ 1/4
The Bristol-born youngster got through the first round for the first time last year and should do so again having reached the final of two of his last three tournaments, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the decider of one of those.
Dale progressed fairly comfortably through his qualifier against Nigel Bond but a decade has passed since he last went further than this at the UK Championship.
Adrian Gunnell to beat Mark Allen @ 11/4
Allen established himself as a contender with a run to the semi-finals last year at Telford, dumping out top seed Ding Junhui along the way before losing to eventual winner John Higgins.
The Northern Irishman has endured a tough time since though, losing 15 of his last 32 encounters, so is in danger of becoming a shock casualty against a player who has never won in the competition proper yet cleared three hurdles to get this far.
Mark Williams to beat Joe Jogia @ 1/8
Jogia is making his first appearance at this stage of the UK Championship at the age of 35, however odds of 5/1 indicate that a successful debut is unlikely.
His opponent was the 2010 runner-up and is a four-time finalist who has passed this round in each of the last six years. Under 9 frames in this best-of-11 contest at 5/6 consequently looks a rather attractive proposition.
Stephen Lee to beat Ricky Walden @ 4/7
A long time has passed since Lee last came close to going all the way in the tournament, reaching the semi-finals in 1997 and 2001, but he remains a reasonably frequent round-of-16 and quarter-final participant.
The Englishman should negotiate a route past the first round once more against an opponent who has been eliminated at this stage on the last four occasions that he has made it this far.
Odds greater than 7/1 are available on a four-fold combining the above suggestions