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Top Thai pair should rise to the occasion; SNOOKER.

Byline: Henry Hardwicke

WORLD CUP Eurosport 2, from 7am HOME advantage often plays a big part in sport and it may be worth chancing home nation Thailand's first team at 5-4 when they take on Australia later today, writes Henry Hardwicke.

The Thai team is captained by former world No. 3 James Wattana, who is obviously not up to that level these days. However, it is possible that the return to home soil could inspire the two-time World Championship semi-finalist.

The Thai tornado has twice won the Thailand Open, in 1994 and 1995, and captured the Thailand Masters in 1986 and although those victories are way back they do indicate Wattana's ability to raise his game when playing on his own patch.

Dechawat Poomjaeng, who completes the Thai pairing, may not be a household name but he earned his place on the main tour this season by winning the World Amateur Championship last year so clearly has a lot of ability.

Australia's side is made up Steve Misfud, who hasn't been on the circuit since 2007, and former world champion Neil Robertson. Robbo is a good player on his day but he was out of sorts for much of last season, losing early on in Shanghai, Germany, the Welsh Open and the China Open and in the first round of the World Championship.

With Robertson struggling for form - and unlikely to get much assistance from the limited Misfud - the Aussies look well worth taking on.

Recommendation Thailand A to beat Australia 2pts 5-4 Stan James
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Jul 11, 2011
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