Hossein Vafaei looks to secure his place at next month’s Scottish Open when he faces Ian Burns in Cannock on Wednesday.
The world number 18 takes on a player ranked 63 places lower at Chase Leisure Centre off the back of an eventful start to the 2022-23 season.
Vafaei came flying out of the blocks as he produced the first maximum break of his career against three-time World Women’s champion Ng On Yee in qualifying for the European Masters.
However, he then controversially withdrew from the event on the eve of his scheduled clash with Xiao Guodong in Furth, and subsequently returned to Iran for some time away from the sport.
And the reigning Shoot Out champion is now looking to build momentum following a resounding 4-0 defeat by Joe Perry in the opening round of the British Open a fortnight ago.
Vafaei has never progressed beyond the last 64 of the Scottish Open, but will be buoyed by the fact that he is just a couple of strong runs away from breaking into the top 16 for the first time in his career.
Burns is the man standing in his way of a place in the main stages of this event. The world number 81 is on a three-match losing streak after winning three of his previous five games this season, but claiming a scalp here would certainly boost his morale.
A two-time ranking quarter-finalist, Burns has only reached round four at two events since his most recent venture to that stage at the 2018 Welsh Open.
Ironically, one of those came at the Scottish Open a few months later, where the Preston cueist overcame the likes of Matthew Selt and Mike Dunn before eventually losing 4-1 to Judd Trump.
The winner of this match will play Noppon Saengkham in the main stages of the Scottish Open at Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh next month.
Play gets underway at 7pm BST on Wednesday with the match contested over the best of seven frames at Chase Leisure Centre in Cannock.
18+ | Funded account required | Geo restrictions may apply | Please Gamble Responsibly
How to watch Vafaei v Burns live stream
2) Register an account, place a £10 first bet and get £50 in Free Bets* (18+ only, T&Cs apply)
3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Snooker’ from the left-hand menu
4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the stream window will appear
*18+ only. New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £50* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you five times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. BeGambleAware.org. *or currency equivalent.
The match is also available to watch live at Skybet; to access, simply:
2) Register an account
3) Bet £5 and Get £20 in Free Bets*
4) Go to the Snooker menu and select ‘Watch Live’ next to the match in progress
18+ | #Ad | Be Gamble Aware