John Higgins’ second-round clash with Sunny Akani (Higgins 1/6, Akani 4/1 – Match Betting) is among the highlights of Saturday’s evening session at the UK Championship in York.

Higgins, who is 8/1 to win the UK Championship, beat Cypriot amateur Michael Georgiou 6-1 in the first round and takes on Thai player Akani next hoping to avoid being the latest big name to be knocked out by an underdog in the early stages.

Last year’s champion Neil Robertson lost 6-2 to amateur John Astley in the first round, while Shaun Murphy was beaten 6-5 by another amateur, China’s Si Jiahui.

Higgins will be wary of a similar slip-up when he takes on Akani, who saw off Englishman Steven Hallworth 6-2 in his first-round tie, with the action due to start at 19:00.

Also on Saturday evening, Northern Irishman Mark Allen is scheduled to go up against Englishman Joe O’Connor although Allen admitted in the wake of his first-round win over Michael Judge that due to some personal problems he “can’t rule out” having to withdraw from the tournament.

Allen is 20/1 to win the UK Championship outright and 2/9 to come out on top in the second-round game, with O’Connor 16/5 to progress.

Ali Carter beat veteran star Jimmy White in his first-round match and he takes on Noppon Saengkham next. Carter is 1/2 to win with his Thai opponent 6/4 to make the third round.

Amongst the other games starting at 19:00, David Gilbert (28/1 Tournament Outright) takes on Swiss player Alexander Ursenbacher (Gilbert 1/4, Ursenbacher 11/4 – Match Betting), while Barry Hawkins faces Gao Yang (Hawkins 1/7, Yang 9/2 – Match Betting).

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