In the next quarterfinal match of the tournament in Wales, where eight of the strongest players in the seasonal ranking will play, the eminent Englishman Mark Selby and the young Chinese player Yan Bintao will fight. Opponents spend the current season better than the previous ones, and therefore quite reasonably expect success in future competitions. It seems to me that the match really should be stubborn. Here’s what the statistics say.
Mark Selby has won 68% of matches this season. This is 55 wins against 26 losses. The Englishman has two rating trophies, both of which were won in the so-called home series. In total, Selby has seven hits in the top eight. Mark makes noticeably fewer hundred breaks than in the best years – now he has 43 centimeters and 223 large breaks in total. The total prize for the season is 351,730 pounds.
This season, in principle, pleases Selby fans, but there is also a reason for caution – the “joker from Leicester” does not look too confident at really important and major tournaments. Selby lacks stability and even motivation. Neither Masters nor the British Championship, he did not even get to the quarter finals. In recent tournaments, Selby was also not very good. At the Players Championship, he easily defeated Mark Williams, but then lost to Stephen Maguire. In Gibraltar, the Englishman rescued in front of Liu Haotian in the third round.
Yan Bingtao won in 70% of matches. He has 39 victories and 17 defeats. China won the ranking tournament in Riga, the first of the season, and only got to the quarter-finals five times. Bingtao made 30 Century breaks and 111 major series, and the sum of rating points at the moment he has 236 thousand.
Bingtao throughout the season made him talk a lot about himself. First, a victory in Riga, then an excellent performance at the British Championship, where the Chinese reached the semifinals, but lost to their senior friend and compatriot Dean. But it was in recent months that Bingtao played especially decently – he made it to at least the semi-finals in three tournaments in a row – in Wales, on a joke, and the Players played at the Players before the finals, where he nevertheless lost to Judd Trump. Bingtao didn’t succeed only at the competitions in Gibraltar, but losing in the first match could be a strategic decision in order to better focus on the next, more prestigious and money tournament.
Selby vs Bingtao Prediction
We do not recommend taking a “clear” favorite win. Selby is not as good as it was last fall. Even knowingly winning parties, he can simply merge. On the other hand, the Chinese athlete also does not show a decent game, but knows how to beat the English. Mark Selby has long secured a reputation as a snookerman, who is very uncertainly opposed to the Chinese.
The defeat in November at the tournament in Wales is another confirmation of this. We are expecting close parties in this fight and take a plus for the underdog. It will be difficult for an Englishman to make a good head start against an uncomfortable opponent.
- Our Prediction: Yan Bingtao +1.5 handicap