Former Professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ previews the First-Round match between Luca Brecel and Noppon Saenghkam for BetWithUs
April 16th to May 2nd
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Mark Selby v Jamie Jones
Yan Bingtao v Chris Wakelin
Mark Williams v Michael White
Barry Hawkins v Jackson Page
Kyren Wilson v Ding Junhui
Stuart Bingham v Lyu Haotian
Anthony McGill v Liam Highfield
Judd Trump v Hossein Vafaei
Neil Robertson v Ashley Hugill
Jack Lisowski v Matthew Stevens
Luca Brecel v Noppon Saenghkam
John Higgins v Thepchaiya un-Nooh
Zhao Xintong v Jamie Clarke
Shaun Murphy v Stephen Maguire
Mark Allen v Scott Donaldson
Ronnie O’Sullivan v David Gilbert
Wednesday 20th April 19:00
Luca Brecel 2/5 (1.40) v Noppon Saengkham 2/1 (3.00)
There is a number of interesting ties to get our teeth into at this year’s World Snooker Championship and two overseas players crossing swords in Luca Brecel from Belgium and Noppon Saengkham take my eye.
The Belgian Bullet as Luca Brecel is known has lived upto his nickname this season with a breakout year to thrust himself back into the sport’s Top 16. An impressive run to the UK Championship final, the second most prestigious event on the snooker calendar followed by a second ranking title at the Scottish Open straight after, has reminded snooker fans of his huge talent. That talent first came to fruition at the 2017 China Championship that he won but it was immediately followed by a huge slump in form that saw him drop out of the world’s top 16.
The Thai player, Noppon Saengkham has similarly been rejuvenated this season after a lack lustre 2020/2021 and to illustrate the improvement he’s made twenty-two centuries as opposed to only two the season before. It’s hard to know what the problem was during the season prior but that’s a huge disparity for the twenty-nine-year-old having reached the last 16 at the World Championships of 2020 to bookend the 2019/2020 season. That run at the Crucible two years ago saw Saengkham beat Shaun Murphy only to lose in a titanic last 16 encounter to Mark Selby 13-12.
I mentioned that Noppon Saengkham had a very positive experience at the Crucible Theatre in 2020 but that is the polar opposite from Luca Brecel’s experiences at Snooker’s hallowed theatre of dreams. After winning the China Championship his world ranking elevated to the top 16 meaning seeding at the Crucible Theatre for a couple of seasons. It’s the most peculiar and unique of venues with the crowd being so close to the action and there’s certain players who never relax and play their best there. Certainly, up until now that’s been the case for the Belgian maestro who has never won a match in Sheffield and in 2017, he had the horrible experience of losing to Marco Fu from 7-1 up 10-9.
Luca Brecel looks a different player these days but when we consider his record, he’s pulled one of the more dangerous qualifiers in Noppon Saengkham and with prices of 2/1 (3.00) bandied around we need to get involved. The other market to play is the high break scorer where despite Brecel’s brilliant season he too has only twenty-two centuries.
World Championship Snooker Pick
Noppon Saengkham to beat Luca Brecel – 15/8 (2.88) Spreadex
Noppon Saengkham highest break scorer – 6/4 (2.50)