Following The Masters, many people will be content to make a bonfire out of the snooker formbooks but anomalies in all sports can and do happen.

Anyway, we should be accustomed to Stuart Bingham (the Masters champion) producing the goods when least expected. He was a complete rag when taking the 2015 World Championship after all.

The action moves on to Austria this week, where 32 players will contest the BetVictor European Masters.

Bingham will not be amongst them. He lost to Liang Wenbo in the qualifiers. Several other Masters players will be contesting this one however. In fact, the top seven in the betting were all in action last week.

England's Kyren Wilson plays a shot during the World Championship Snooker semi-final match against Scotland's John Higgins at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on May 3, 2018. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

But are any a safe bet? Let us not forget Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins were all first-round casualties and, for the most part, turned over as short-priced favourites.

Kyren Wilson was brilliant in the first round of the Masters but inexplicably squandered a 4-1 lead (posted a 139 break in the opening frame) to lose 6-4 to Bingham in the quarter-finals.

Wilson still looks ready to take his fourth ranking tournament and this is the type of competition that has served him well in the past. That ‘type’ of tournament is a ‘best of 9 frame’ format for the first three rounds, followed by a ‘best of 11’ semi-final and ‘best of 17’ frame final. Wilson’s last victory was exactly one year ago in the German Masters.

 

Wenbo to Dott the G

Amongst the first round matches, I fancy the aforementioned Liang Wenbo to beat Graeme Dott on Wednesday.

The Chinese player produced breaks of 134, 132, 121 and 102 in winning the requisite two matches to qualify for this completion, and he has also beaten Dott 4-0 and 4-1 in their last two meetings.

 

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh set to entertain Robbie Williams

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Thepchaiya Un-Nooh lines up a shot against Judd Trump in the opening round of the world snooker championship at Crucible Theatre on April 23, 2019 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh has been in fantastic form and might just do a job on his first-round rival, Robbie Williams.

His recent notable victories include a 4-0 thumping of Neil Robertson in December’s Scottish Open.

The Thai player was a finalist in November’s World Open and won the non-raking Haining Open in October. Clearly an in-form player.

Williams has been doing well in competition qualifiers but his performances once in the main draw of competitions has always been shaky and given he was mauled 4-0 by Un-Nooh the last time they met, I believe there is a real chance this could be over quickly.

Tips:

Kyren Wilson to make the final

Liang Wenbo to beat Graeme Dott (Wednesday)

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh -2.5 frames to beat Robbie Williams (Wednesday)

The BetVictor European Masters action will be streamed online and can also be watched on Snooker’s broadcasting bedfellow, Eurosport.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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