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The Scottish stars hoping to take Sheffield by storm.

Byline: Neil Goulding

SNOOKER'S showpiece event kicks off today and here Record Sport takes a look at how the Scots are shaping up ahead of the action starting in Sheffield.

JOHN HIGGINS Who and when he plays? Liang Wenbo, this morning (10am) and tonight (7pm) to a finish.

VERDICT: Four-times world champion Higgins has had a season to forget but you can never write off the Wishaw Wizard at The Crucible.

Against all the odds the 36-year-old won last year's title after bouncing back from an undercover sting and the death of his father.

Higgins faces a tough tie against the Chinese qualifier but Wenbo is playing with a new cue and that's never easy.

PREDICTION: Higgins 10-5 STEPHEN HENDRY Who and when he plays? Stuart Bingham, today (2.30pm) and tomorrow night (7pm).

VERDICT: The seven-times Crucible winner is featuring in a record 27th consecutive World Championship but hasn't won it since 1999.

Bingham won the Australia Open this season - his first ranking title - so will prove a stern test but if Hendry starts well he should win it.

PREDICTION: Hendry 10-8 GRAEME DOTT Who and when he plays? Joe Perry, Tuesday (2.30pm) and Wednesday (10am).

a FFB VERDICT: The 2006 world champ always saves his best for The Crucible and has reached two world finals in the past five years.

Larkhall's "Pocket Dynamo" hasn't had a great season but is a determined customer in the longer frame matches. " t st Dott faces a real test against qualifier Joe Perry who beat the Scot en-route to the semi-final in 2008.

Matthew PREDICTION: Dott 10-7 STEPHEN MAGUIRE Who and when he plays? Luca Brecel, tomorrow (10am) and Monday (10am).

VERDICT: Maguire goes into this tantalising tie having had to d a solid season, winning the FFB Open in Germany.

Brecel is the youngest ever Crucible qualifier, aged 17 years and 26 days, and his inexperience could be crucial.

PREDICTION: Maguire 10-6
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 21, 2012
Words:322
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