Will John Higgins start this season faster than recent years?
<div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>International Championship</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-size:18px">August 4-11</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-size:18px">Baihu Media Broadcasting Centre</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Daqing, China</strong></p><h2> </h2><h2><strong>Betting Predictions and Tips</strong></h2><p>The 2019/2020 got underway last week at the Riga Masters with several of the games top names not entered however, this week in Daqing all of snookers glitterati are in attendance with Ronnie O'Sullivan the only notable absentee. The first prize of £175,000 dwarfs last week’s Riga Masters £50,000 in comparison.</p><p>Last season Northern Irishman Mark Allen was the winner of this tournament with a sublime performance right through the event. It was the start of a rich vein of form for the talented left hander in which he was victorious also at the Scottish Open. Since his form has dipped a little and he is the latest top snooker player to enlist the help of Sightright, the firm associated with the renaissance of Mark Williams as a top player. Ronnie O'Sullivan last season was enjoying working with them also and could be just the sort of tweak for Mark Allen's technique that makes a difference.</p><p>I want to analyse Triple World Champion Mark Selby who has been a regular winner in China over the years. Last season was one to forget for the man from Leicester as he struggled for form losing several close matches. This was unusual for Mark Selby who has been renowned all his career for his durability and hard match play. Last week’s Riga Masters did however, see him turn round a 0-3 deficit in the opening round against Graeme</p><p>Dott and that is just the sort of occurrence that Mark Selby will feed off and help bring back his missing confidence. At 8.00 his price seems short but I respect his chances this week.</p><p>We see the return to competitive snooker of the new World Champion Judd Trump. From his Twitter we know he has been enjoying his reign partying hard in Las Vegas and why not after his brilliant season ended with the crescendo of a flawless final performance against John Higgins. He also won the Masters last season dispatching Ronnie O'Sullivan with impunity in the final, backed up with victories in the Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix. Even though he is not the official world number one many believe it is only a matter time and, this is when the hard work begins again for the brilliant Bristol boy.</p><p>The World Snooker Championship runner up John Higgins occupied that position for the third year running. The previous season loss to Mark Williams in the final took nearly a whole season to recover from but this time there were only positives to be taken from his performance against an imperious Judd Trump. Close victories against Stuart Bingham, Neil Robertson and David Gilbert proved the Scot still had the nerve for top level snooker. I noticed how emotional he was in beating David Gilbert at the World Championship semi final and I think the standard he played re-affirmed some lost belief. Then in the summer he travelled to China to win the World Cup for Scotland in partnership with Stephen Maguire. All these factors lead me to believe that John Higgins may have an “Indian Summer” in the coming months in what has been a glittering career. This longer format of best of 11 frame matches suit the veteran Scot and no one in the game has a better all round game or knowledge of how to win.</p><p>Neil Robertson won the China Championship last March and has to be considered after a brilliant 2018/2019 season. His start to this season had a setback when himself and Kyren Wilson were amongst a group of players not to get to Riga due to a flight delay. Not the ideal preparation for China Championship putting their new season’s on the back foot from the start.</p><p>Players who did make their flights to Riga and won a few matches will be sharper for the experience. Firstly Jack Lisowski looked in fine fettle before coming unstuck in last 16 versus Mark Joyce. Being thrust into favouritism may not have helped the talented left hander from Cheltenham but he always plays well in China over the longer format of eleven frame matches. He reached the final of the China Open only four months ago losing to an in-form Neil Robertson.</p><p>World Championship semi finalist Gary Wilson is another player who should be sharper for the experience and like Jack Lisowski plays some of his best snooker on his regular visits to China. His only ranking event final was the 2015 China Open and he looks well overdue a repeat performance on current form.</p><p>Last week’s Riga Masters will have helped tune up many of this weeks competitors and the theme of this article has been to support them over the ones who debut their season this week. No one impressed more in Latvia than the winner Yan Bingtao and with his confidence at a high it could be time for him to step out of Ding Junhui’s shadow in their homeland. 81.00 is a generous price considering so a small each way bet for him this week</p><p><strong>Recommended Bets:</strong></p><ul> <li>John Higgins - each way @ 13.00 (12/1) <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Get in the game with Betfred">Betfred</a></li> <li>Jack Lisowski - each way @ 29.00 (28/1) Sporting Bet</li> <li>Yan Bingtao - each way @ 81.00 (80/1) <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">Bet365</a></li> <li>Gary Wilson - each way @ 101.00 (100/1) Sporting Bet</li></ul><div> </div><div style="text-align:center"><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=160&a=9feaaf7a-d7a2-4185-974a-81ad171951df&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://imstore.bet365affiliates.com/AffiliateCreativeBanners/Sports/General/Bet%20Builder/en-GB/UK/STD/970x250_2.jpeg" style="width:100%" /></a></div></div>