Snooker is once again back at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the 2016 Snooker World Championship as Stuart Bingham aims to defend his title. The game of snooker has really come of age over the last few years with a number of youngsters coming through the ranks to challenge the more experienced Pro’s on the circuit. I believe with this years field, it’s going to be very difficult to pick a winner as many could easily go on to lift the trophy and pocket £330,000 in two weeks time.
The full draw:
Stuart Bingham (1) v Ali Carter
Stephen Maguire (16) v Alan McManus
Ricky Walden (9) v Robbie Williams
John Higgins (8) v Ryan Day
Judd Trump (5) v Liang Wenbo
Martin Gould (12) v Ding Junhui
Mark Williams (13) v Graeme Dott
Neil Robertson (4) v Michael Holt
Shaun Murphy (3) v Anthony McGill
Marco Fu (14) v Peter Ebdon
Barry Hawkins (11) v Zhang Anda
Ronnie O’Sullivan (6) v David Gilbert
Mark Allen (7) v Mitchell Mann
Joe Perry (10) v Kyren Wilson
Michael White (15) v Sam Baird
Mark Selby (2) v Robert Milkins
Here are a few unseeded players to watch out for in this years world championship:
Anthony McGill – Aged 25 from Glasgow, Scotland. Has a ranking high of 22 but is currently ranked at 30 as of April 4th 2016. He is a very talented player and has been on the circuit a few years now. He made his World Championship debut last year where he defeated Mark Selby 13-9 in the second round and went on to lose in the Quarter Final. I can see him giving Shaun Murphy a good game in round one if he plays to his true potential (like he did last year) and could potential knock out last years finalist.
Alan McManus – Another Scottish player and has been a professional since 1990. Has bundles of experience and has a ranking high of 6 (4 years ago). He is currently ranked at 29 as of April 4th 2016. McManus is a very calm and relaxed player who never rushes round the table. He is very consisted as his record of sixteen consecutive seasons (from 1990 to 2006) in the Top 16 testifies. A former Masters winner (1994) and I think he will beat Stephen Maguire in round one and could potentially have a good run in this year’s World Championship.
Ali Carter – A two-time World Championship runner-up, twice losing to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2008 and 2012. He has a career high ranking of 2 and is currently ranked at 31 as of April 4th 2016. Carter took time out the game in 2014/2015 due to receiving treatment for a recurrence of testicular cancer and his ranking was frozen. After the 2015 World Championship, his ranking was no longer frozen and he dropped down to world number 29. Since his return, he has looked in great form. He will cause Stuart Bingham problems in round one and I think he will knock the reigning champion out with Bingham not in great form.
Ding Junhui– Ding is China’s most successful player ever. He shows no emotion when playing and is so cool and calm under pressure. A former world number 1 but has now slipped down the rankings to outside the top 16 due to poor form. He is currently ranked at 17 as of April 4th 2016 and so going through the qualifying stages to get to this years World Champions was unfamiliar territory for Ding. He plays Martin Gould in round one and this is a tough one to call. If he can get past Gould, he will fancy his chances.