Scott Donaldson (@2.25) vs Zhao Xintong (@1.62)
16-10-2019

Our Prediction:

Zhao Xintong will win

Scott Donaldson – Zhao Xintong Match Prediction | 16-10-2019 08:00

I always thought that he would reach the Crucible and be a dangerous opponent. But I dont know what to expect from him. He chalked up an impressive win over top seed Ryan Day 10-3 and held a spirited fightback from Matthew Stevens. He plays incredibly well about first-class opponents, yet does not do very well against players of his ranking. I mentioned several times that I will never understand the enigma that is Tian Pengfei.

But Lyu is on fire and on fantastic break-building for so hes my man here. Both had very successful seasons but Lyu Haotian has done so well he broke into the Top 32! They have beaten each other once, but a BO19 match is a different kettle of fish. Mark Davis will be wary and will have endless patience after beating Rod Lawler and Fergal OBrien. He reached the Crucible last season and won his opening tie and will be against a very experienced player who knows how to qualify from there. This is a good match-up.

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After that performance, many touted him to be a future World Champion. If he needed a decent starter in the form of a debutant, he got his wish. Since 2016, he reached two quarter-finals and was beaten by John Higgins 17-13 in the semi-finals last year. Kyren Wilson may have picked up two ranking events but this season, he lost the consistency that is usually the main part in his game. Since winning the German Masters, he has slightly slipped and started to lose a number of early matches. But the Crucible is becoming his fortress.

To be honest, this could go either way. Perry has a great record against Gilbert as well but never faced each other in a match of this length. I trust Gilbert to hold his own, but I can see this going very far indeed. Joe Perry is one of the qualifiers to avoid because of his experience and prestige at Sheffield, as well breezing through the qualifiers untroubled. It also helps that he emphatically beat the defending champion Mark Selby last year.

Luo looked unflappable when battling Ford! He has never met Murphy, but we hope their styles will turn into a symphony. Luo Honghao was the player I said was one of watch at the start of this season. Considering the teenager wasnt a seeded player, he did very well to make his debut at all. Perhaps that is the key to his success. The first WSF champion is very ORGANised in his approach and defeated many high-calibre opponents. He never missed a note against Marco Fu, Robbie Williams and Tom Ford.

Career[edit]

Its good to see Dark Mavis again! But he hasnt reached the World Championship since 2015, where he lost to Ding Junhui 10-7. Three years is a while and that sort of inexperience could count against him. Ive already pointed out that he has a very good record against The Wizard of Wishaw. He last won a match in 2013, which was against John Higgins at 10-6, followed by a 13-10 loss to Stuart Bingham.

Since he doesnt need the Ronnie OSullivan-bravado, he can focus on this match now. Especially since Captain warmed up nicely against the qualifiers. Carter is the person no-one wanted to draw against, so he will be delighted to see that he is against someone who is playing as a seeded player. A lot of people wouldve hoped to see Ali Carter against Ronnie OSullivan. He lost just nine frames in three comfortable matches and is a very confident man. It sounds like he has to rub shoulders with someone else now.

The Rocket lost just five matches this season. OSullivan has been extremely clinical this season. He won five events this season. He reached three more finals. They faced each other three times but none of them have been easy matches, the latest one being in the 2017 China Open. Clearly the man of the season, he couldnt have picked an easier man on paper.

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But his standards, he is having a poor season. His recent form has also been rotten, as he is on a three-match losing streak from the Players Championship to the China Open. Not only is he coming to Crucible without defending the World title anymore, but without being the No. 1 spot. This is exemplified by his shock first-round loss to amateur James Cahill in the UK Championship. Worse still, he lost in the first round last year without much of a fight (10-4 to Joe Perry). He is bound to be vulnerable coming into the World Championship. This is the tournament where he has to make a statement that he is still a challenge.

This has happened with Yan Bingtao, Xiao Guodong and Cao Yupeng. Zhou Yuelong seems to have hit a wall where many Chinese players struggled. Three decent wins against Robin Hull, Liam Highfield and Eden Sharav should put him in good stead. At least with the first two, they didnt do anything to jeopardise their careers. Now that he will make his second appearance at the Crucible, he can get used to the limelight again. Zhou was expected to win a ranking event by now, especially since he was touted as the successor to Ding Junhui.

Davis is Higginss bogeyman. But hes clearly suffering from the scars he received from losing them. He reached the last two World Championship finals, which is an incredible achievement. These are ingredients that spell disaster for Higgins. Though Mark Davis may not be a bad draw for him at first glance, Higgins has an inferior H2H record against him. He complained of burnout, lack of motivation and possible retirement. John Higgins is having a poor season. Even though he made the International Championship final, he seemed incredulous that he made it there at all.

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After that performance, many touted him to be a future World Champion. But the Crucible is becoming his fortress. Since 2016, he reached two quarter-finals and was beaten by John Higgins 17-13 in the semi-finals last year. Since winning the German Masters, he has slightly slipped and started to lose a number of early matches. If he needed a decent starter in the form of a debutant, he got his wish. Kyren Wilson may have picked up two ranking events but this season, he lost the consistency that is usually the main part in his game.

Maybe it is because he shaved his head? However, he has kept his enviable Crucible record intact. I dont know. Eight first-round losses in ranking competitions is dreadful for someone of his calibre. In the past four appearances, he lost in the first round just once. Anthony McGill is having a horror show of a season. Despite being 7-2 in his final qualifying match against Rob Milkins, he reeled off seven consecutive frames to win 10-8.

Zhao entered several events in an attempt to qualify for the 2015/2016 season. Xintong won three games in the first event of Q School before losing 43 to Alexander Ursenbacher in the penultimate round. He was narrowly defeated in the first round of the ACBS Asian Snooker Championship.