Trump and Lisowski out after Covid analysis
Major snooker occasions very regularly see massive shocks on the opening day however this yr we did not even have to attend that lengthy. Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski have both been compelled to withdraw after testing optimistic for Covid.
Terrible information for my outright staking plan, in which Judd was a 9 unit choice. It additionally meant this column wanted fully re-writing. We won’t ever know if Trump would have gained 6-3 or Lisowski hit a ton.
The two very lucky recipients of a last-minute name up are Joe Perry and Gary Wilson. In the latter’s case, this will likely be his Masters debut.
Last yr’s renewal taught us by no means to write down off the significance of such surprising bonuses. Ali Carter bought in late when Ronnie O’Sullivan withdrew and subsequently circled an absymal match file to succeed in the ultimate.
Gilbert most well-liked in tight conflict
Perry and Gilbert open proceedings in what appears a really tight match. Neither has achieved a lot this time period – a sole quarter-final look and few notable victories. That makes both massive outsiders for the title however, to be honest, both have some latest match pedigree.
Gilbert was excellent for the primary two rounds on final yr’s debut. That mirrored his basic normal on the time and, if returning to it, I’d make him a certainty right here.
Perry has gained three of his final 4 opening Masters matches and reached the 2017 ultimate. He additionally leads their head-to-head 7-5.
Could Perry arrive chilly?
Nothing would actually shock however I’ll take Gilbert for a few causes. His total normal has been superior over an extended latest timeframe. Secondly, he was certainly nicely tuned up for an enormous match in opposition to Trump whereas Perry arrives chilly and probably rusty after the Christmas break.
Facing his namesake, Gary Wilson’s Masters debut may very well be one thing of a baptism of fireplace. He did not play nicely on the Championship League and has been struggling. Whereas Kyren is probably the most overdue match winner on the market.
Kyren nicely forward on latest kind
Trump’s withdrawal presents a golden alternative for Kyren, dramatically easing a path to the semis. I count on him to take it. He’s change into admirably constant and usually solely shedding to both superior gamers or superb performances.
It would not shock me had been Gary to show up together with his A-game, enjoying pressure-free having already loved an enormous, surprising outcome. He’s not in need of expertise and has majors pedigree having reached the 2019 world semis.
However there is not a lot latest proof to help that principle and Gary has all the time been a streaky sort. One to oppose when out of nick. Take even cash on Kyren successful by three or higher by way of the handicap.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty