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John Higgins v Martin Gould - Australian Goldfields Open Final preview and tips - Higgins eyeing dominance Down Under

Jamie Shaw 4 Jul 2015
  • Higgins has won five of his last six major ranking finals
  • Gould is appearing in his first major final for four years
  • Gould has made three centuries to Higgins' two so far this week
John Higgins of Scotland in action (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Four-time World Champion John Higgins and dark horse Martin Gould will face off for the right to clinch the first world ranking silverware of the season in Bendigo on Sunday.

Watch and bet on Higgins v Gould live at Bet365 > Sports > Live streaming Snooker


Both have showcased scintillating form Down Under this week and now have their sights firmly set on landing the $75,000 top prize to kick off the new campaign in style.

The duo, however, boast contrasting fortunes when it comes to major titles, with Higgins hunting down his 27th career ranking triumph, while Gould looks to pick up his first. 

Scottish star Higgins had previously never been beyond the second round stage of this event, but has continued his resurgent form in 2015 to edge to the brink of another landmark triumph.

Following a torrid 18-month spell in which he regularly changed cues, the Scot has enjoyed a welcome return to form in 2015, notably lifting the Welsh Open trophy in March. 

The number ten seed rarely came under threat in his victories over Michael Georgiou, Fergal O'Brien and Joe Perry, before demonstrating his trademark tenacity by sensationally recovering from 4-0 down to defeat Jamie Jones 6-4 in the Semi-Finals. 

Higgins appears to have picked up from where he left off in reaching the Snooker World Cup final alongside Stephen Maguire a fortnight ago and starts out as the odds-on favourite to claim the crown.

Gould has once again emphasised his calibre over short formats and now finds himself in only the second major ranking Semi-Final of his career, following on from the 2011 Players Tour Championship Grand Final.

Gould initially battled past Marco Fu in a last-frame decider, before defeating Michael Holt 5-3 and going on to thrash form horse Matthew Selt 5-1 on Friday. 

He then produced arguably his most impressive display of the week in a 6-1 demolition of Stephen Maguire in the Semi-Finals and aims to repeat the dose on another Scot.

Nicknamed 'The Pinner Potter,' Gould is aiming to land his first major title and kick-start his bid for a return to the world top 16 in the early part of the campaign.

This will be first meeting between the pair in a world ranking event, with Higgins having won four of their six short format encounters to date.

The match gets underway at 5am BST on Sunday July 5 for a total of eight frames and will resume to a conclusion from 10am over the best of 17 frames from the Bendigo Stadium.


Martin Gould of England looks on (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Player's view:

Higgins: "I'm just going to give it my all now that I'm back into it.

"I've watched him and Martin's probably played the best snooker out of anyone this week."

Gould: "My game plan is always the same, everything I see I go for. Some days they go in, some days they don’t, and luckily everything has gone smoothly so far. 

"John and I are both playing well, so let's see what happens."

Bettingpro.com verdict:

Ominously for Higgins, Gould appears to be raising his game round-on-round, but has rarely done himself justice over two-session formats in recent years.

Higgins emphasised his 'never say die' attitude in his comeback win over Jones on Saturday and it looks like taking something extra special from Gould to prevent the Scot getting his hands on yet another trophy.
 
Our top three tips (odds with William Hill):

  • Higgins -1.5 frames handicap @ 8/11
  • Over 14.5 total frames @ 4/6
  • Gould to make the highest break @ 6/5

To watch the match live online, simply:

1. Go to Bet365
2. Register a new account using bonus code: MAXCASH (You'll receive a £200 matched bonus)
3. Click on live streaming at the top of the page once you are logged in
4. Select 'Snooker' from the menu and sit back and enjoy the action!


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John Higgins v Martin Gould - Australian Goldfields Open Final preview and tips - Higgins eyeing dominance Down Under

Four-time World Champion John Higgins and dark horse Martin Gould will face off for the right to clinch the first world ranking silverware of the season in Bendigo on Sunday.

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