World number one Darren Appleton believes it is about time England won the Betway World Cup of Pool.
And he reckons home advantage and a passionate Portsmouth crowd could prove a perfect combination.
Appleton and Karl Boyes make up the England A team for the prestigious tournament and are second favourites with the bookies behind holders Philippines to lift the trophy at the Mountbatten Centre on Sunday evening.
The pair have both enjoyed many a success on an individual basis and as part of Team Europe in the Mosconi Cup.
However, the World Cup has eluded England in its nine-year history, with Daryl Peach and Mary Gray coming closest when they reached the final in 2008.
England A have been handed a tough draw when they get their campaign under way against Spain tomorrow evening.
However, both Appleton and Boyes have been in fine form since being part of the team that registered Europe’s biggest-ever Mosconi Cup victory when they beat USA 11-2 in Las Vegas last December. And Appleton is confident the pair can bring their form to Portsmouth.
‘It is always great to play in England,’ he said.
‘It makes it feel extra special and definitely gives us more of a chance to win having the home crowd behind us.
‘Last year we played well but lost in the quarter-final to Taiwan.
‘Karl and myself really gel together and if balls roll our way we will be one of the favourites, along with Philippines, USA, China, Taiwan, Holland and Germany.
‘Daryl Peach and Chris Melling is a very strong B team for England, too, so in my mind we are one of eight teams that can win it on paper.
‘But we are confident we can beat any team we come up against.
‘Karl and I are unbeaten in Mosconi Cup doubles and we like to fire the crowds up as we both play with passion and emotion.
‘If we go deep to the semis the crowd will be a huge help to us.
‘I definitely feel we are due a win in the World Cup and this year could be our time.
‘We probably got the toughest first-round match possible in Spain, so we need to come out firing from the word go tomorrow.’
The event starts today, with two sessions daily at midday and 6pm during weekdays.
Sessions will then get under way at 1pm and 7.30pm on Saturday and 1pm and 6pm on Sunday.
Tickets are priced at £5 for afternoons and £10 for evenings. Tickets will be available on the door at the Mountbatten Centre throughout the tournament.