Storm Hannah may be on its way this weekend but there is no excuse to go outside anyway with top-class green baize action to thrill snooker fans.

Now we all go a bit potty when the Sheffield snooker marathon is on and the middle Saturday could provide some Crucible classics.

Current world champion Mark Williams will conclude his game against the former farmer David Gilbert, while the Crucible’s first ever amateur, James Cahill, the man who shocked the greatest ever man to pick up a piece of wood, Ronnie O’Sullivan, will finish against tough Scot Stephen Maguire.

But two fantastic encounters also begin. Just after Saturday lunchtime, four-time winner John Higgins will take to the baize against 2015 champ Stuart Bingham. This will be a slugfest, with each player trying to land knockout blows. At times it might not be pretty but each gladiator loves to slay their opponent at this iconic venue.

Higgins is one of the best match players to ever grace the Crucible. The man is so tight that he would not even give you a sweetie. He’s had a tough year, even nearly called it quits, but looks to be rejuvenated after setting up a new practice base with fellow Scots Maguire and Anthony McGill. Back Higgins on the handicap taking off two-and-a-half frames.

As for your evening entertainment, forget Britain’s Got Talent, we’ve an international clash between Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, a repeat of the 2011 semi-final which did not need any golden buzzers.

Many fancy Trump to win the Betfred World Championship, but I feel there could be some value in backing Ding, who has adopted Sheffield as his second home.

Ding, beaten finalist in 2016, has hardly potted balls in anger this season, but the hope is the longer Crucible format might just rejuvenate the man regarded as a pop star in his native China. Bring it on!!

If you’re betting on Snooker, Betfred