European Masters Qualifying: Snooker Tips & Betting Predictions

Craig Edwards

Sunday, December 15, 2019 4:48 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 4:48 PM UTC

Former snooker professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ previews the Qualifying Round match between Stephen Maguire and Martin Gould at the European Masters for
<div><h2>Stephen Maguire v Martin Gould</h2><p><strong>December 18th, 19:00 at Barnsley Metrodome</strong><br /><strong>Head to Head: Stephen Maguire 4-8 Martin Gould</strong></p><h2>Betting Odds</h2><p>A tough opening round qualifying match between two well-respected professionals, Stephen Maguire and Martin Gould.</p><p>Scotland's Stephen Maguire is having a superb season with a resurgence meaning he is once again a contender for titles while moving back up the rankings. The season for Maguire started earlier than most professionals when he travelled to China with his good friend John Higgins in late June to represent Scotland at the World Cup. It was a successful mission for the two Scots when they landed their second World Cup. Then in early September, Maguire travelled to Thailand for the Six Red World Championship and managed to win the tournament for a second time beating John Higgins in the final. Those two tournaments victories alone accounted for £200,000 and a good start to the season, albeit in non-ranking events. Fifteen years ago, Maguire won the 2004 UK Championship and great things were predicted, however, his career has stagnated in recent years with his last ranking tournament win being the 2013 Welsh Open. Two weeks ago, at his favourite tournament the UK Championship he rediscovered his very best form, losing a high-quality final against a resurgent Ding Junhui, after a career-best display in the semi-final against Mark Allen.</p><p><a href=";a=9feaaf7a-d7a2-4185-974a-81ad171951df&amp;f=3"><img alt src="" style="width:100%;height:12px" /></a></p><p>Martin Gould heads to Barnsley in need of ranking points because his place in the top 64 is under threat. This once top 16 player had a low key 2018/2019 season when he only entered slightly above 50% of the tournaments. He did prove during that season that he still has the class to compete at the highest level by winning the Championship League which is high-quality tournament if not a ranking event. This season has been a struggle so far for Gould but since the Champion of Champions defeat to Neil Robertson, there has been palpable encouragement in his performances. At the UK Championship, he beat Alfie Burden in the opening round before losing a high-quality encounter to Stuart Bingham who made three-century breaks. Then last week at the Scottish Open he dispatched Luca Brecel in the opening round 4-1 who he incidentally beat in the German Masters final of 2016, his only ranking tournament victory.</p><p>This has the look of the toughest opening round match of the European Masters between two established players. Their head to head record reveals a surprising dominance for Gould who leads 8-4 but more importantly, the four times he has lost have been over the quick-fire best of five frame format. It is one of the quirks of snooker player's careers that certain players become other's bogey players despite their ranking. From remembering my own career, your frame of mind could be skewed either way thus you can expect Gould to be mentally more comfortable than Maguire in this match regardless of the result. Another interesting angle for this match and factor in Gould's favour is that at the end of October at the Yushan World Open, Maguire, had to withdraw due to a broken angle. The tournaments since he has been soldiering on with a limp and World Snooker have allowed him the dispensation of being able to wear dark training shoes. For the first time, this European Masters sees World Snooker try out a new format of best of 9 frames matches without the usual interval of fifteen minutes after frame 4. If the match gets drawn out then Maguire's ankle injury could feasibly become annoying and difficult for the Scot.</p><p><strong>Recommended Bet: Martin Gould to beat Stephen Maguire @ 2.50 (6/4) at <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker!">Bet365</a></strong></p></div>
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