Ding Junhui v Liang Wenbo: World Championship 2017 preview

Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo go head-to-head in a mouth-watering all-Chinese clash in the Second Round of the 2017 World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Friday.

It promises to be a highly entertaining showdown between the two highest ranked players from the Far East, where there is guaranteed to be a huge viewing audience keeping a close eye on proceedings.

Ding, who reached the final here 12 months ago, continues his quest to go the extra step following an impressive display against 19-year-old debutant Zhou Yuelong in the opening round.

The world number four hit three centuries in the opening session, including the highest break of the tournament so far with a magnificent total clearance of 136 on the way to a 10-5 victory over his fellow countryman.

Having come so close last year, Ding has arrived at the Crucible with plenty of confidence and will be hoping for more of the same against Liang.

The English Open winner, who is appearing at the iconic venue for the first time as a seed, claimed only his third win in Sheffield in round one after seeing off Stuart Carrington.

Liang appeared in danger as he fell 5-2 behind against an inspired Carrington, who hit centuries in three consecutive frames along the way, but rallied by winning eight of the next 10 to prevail a 10-7 winner for his first victory at the Crucible since his debut in 2008.

The match will be contested over the best of 25 frames, with the winner setting a quarter-final showdown against either Ronnie O'Sullivan or Shaun Murphy at the 2017 World Championship.

Play gets underway with the opening two sessions from 10am BST on Friday, before playing to a conclusion at 2.30pm on Saturday at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.