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John Parrott’s round two preview: Barry Hawkins looks a good bet on the handicap but the Rocket won’t have it all his own way

by Sean Goff | April 23, 2015

We spent far too much of our adolescence locked in our bedroom writing bad teenage poetry and not enough of it down in dark snooker halls. That’s probably why none of us are a snooker World Champion and we’re also awful at poetry. So we’ve enlisted the help of top snooker pundit and really nice guy, John Parrott to take us by the metaphorical hand and guide us through the two and a bit weeks of mega-tense Crucible action.

In our second chat with the 1991 World Champion he looks at the round two draw and who has impressed him in round one.

Mark-Selby-840

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Two players have impressed me so far as the first round comes to a close. Shaun Murphy has looked good and takes a 7-2 lead into Thursday night’s session but Neil Robertson’s overall scoring and the highest break so far of 143 was very impressive.

Mark Selby v Anthony McGill, Thursday 1pm

  • I think Selby will come through this
  • McGill hasn’t played in a best of 25 frames
  • Selby to win (-4.5 frames on the handicap) @ evens

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Ding Junghui v John Higgins, Thursday 7pm

  • Ding came back from 4-0 in round one and then missed out on a possible 147.
  • Ding beat Higgins in China and I think he’ll do it again – but it’s a close call.

Graeme Dott v Stuart Bingham, Friday, 10am

  • Dott is a three-time world finalis and came through three qualifiers to get here this year
  • Bingham plays well on the road but has yet to produce on home soil
  • A tight game with Bingham (-1.5 frames) to win @ 4/5

Barry Hawkins v Mark Allen, Friday, 2.30pm

  • A really tricky match to call.
  • Barry Hawkins (-1.5 games) on the handicap @ evens could be the play

Ronnie-O'Sullivan-840

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Ali Carter v Neill Robertson, Saturday, 2.30pm

  • Dual finalist Carter knows his way around the Crucible
  • Robertson beat him 6-0 in the Masters final – but there won’t be a whitewash this time
  • Neill worth a punt at 8/11 (-3.5 frames) on the handicap

Matthew Stevens v Ronnie O’Sullivan, Saturday, 7pm

  • Stevens was a good 10-2 winner over Mark Williams
  • This won’t be totally a one-sided affair for the Rocket
  • Let’s go left-field and take the 5.5 frame start for Stevens @ 8/11
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