Premier League Snooker 2008: Night Three Preview

Premier League Snooker – Night Three from Derby, SkySports1, 7:30pm

Steve Davis v Joe Perry
Stephen Hendry v Mark Selby

Night three of the Premier League marks the first appearances of the last remaining two players yet to have got their campaigns up and running, Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry. Click below to read about the challenge they both face:

Match One: Steve Davis v Joe Perry

Having made a memorable debut last week when he beat the four-time defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in Basingstoke, Joe Perry will be looking to maintain his 100% record against Steve Davis tomorrow night. If that win last week is anything to go by then the signs are good for Joe and another win against Davis would put him right in contention to qualify for the play-offs in December.


It is still early days though and Davis will himself have something to say about that as he makes his entrance to the Premier League 2008. It must be said that although Davis had a poor season last year, dropping out of the elite top 16 of the world rankings, he did perform well in this competition, something highlighted by a magical 143 break. He has recently spoken about going back to basics with his cue action and his recent win over Gerard Greene in the Northern Ireland qualifiers shows that he isn’t playing badly at the moment. Hopefully he should be able to at least make it competitive with Joe when they meet on Thursday and it will be a close match, though I suspect that Perry will ultimately prove too strong for him in the end. We shall see.

Match Two: Stephen Hendry v Mark Selby

Six time-event winner Stephen Hendry will be looking to get off to a good start to his latest Premier League campaign as he meets world number 4 Mark Selby in Derby. Hendry had mixed fortunes in this event last season, starting out as the player to beat with excellent wins over Robertson, Higgins and O’Sullivan before being annihilated by Ding Junhui and then losing convincingly to O’Sullivan in the play-offs. Things couldn’t be much harder tonight as he faces the in-form Mark Selby who he last faced in the Masters earlier this year, Selby emerging victories that time. If Hendry can play to his best however, we could have a real match on as he is still capable of producing some brilliant snooker.

Like Perry, Selby will be hoping to build on a sensational debut performance on night one of the event and will start as a narrow favourite for the match. Showing few signs of pressure or worries about the shot clock, Selby ran out a deserving winner against Ding Junhui and will be looking for similar against Hendry to really establish himself as a contender to reach the play-off stage.

It should be a close one, we know that Selby is playing well so much will depend on how Hendry is looking at the moment. Having only played one match so far this season it is hard to predict that with much certainty so we will have to wait and see. Should be one well worth watching.