Mark Selby looks to reach his first Masters semi-final in 10 years when he faces Mark Allen in a mouth-watering clash on Friday.
The two Marks meet for the first time since that epic World Championship semi-final last season, which Selby narrowly won 17-15.
The Jester also came out on top in their previous Masters showdowns – both of which were in quarter-finals and ended 6-5.
And if it is anything like the aforementioned encounters, the crowd can look forward to a dramatic Friday night of entertainment at Alexandra Palace.
The Jester took to snooker’s most prestigious invitational event like a duck to water from his maiden appearance in 2008.
Indeed, he won the title three times (2008, 2010 and 2013) and reached a further two finals (2009 and 2014) in his first seven appearances.
But Selby has been unable to build on that momentum in the decade that followed, failing to reach the last four since. Victory over Robert Milkins in the first round was only his fifth in 15 matches since beating Shaun Murphy in the 2014 semi-finals.
Although, he did make a statement of intent in his 6-1 rout of Milkins, producing arguably the performance of the round with breaks of 119, 74, 70, 63 and 53 on the way to reaching his 11th Masters quarter-final.
By contrast, Allen had to dig deep to make the last eight for the ninth time – and first since lifting the trophy six years ago.
The Pistol trailed 3-1 against John Higgins and, despite winning the next four frames, he was taken to a nervy decider, but did keep his cool magnificently with a timely 86 to get over the line.
The winner of this season’s Champion of Champions and Shoot Out, Allen will now look to make it third time lucky against Selby in this event, although he has won each of their other four previous clashes in quarter-finals.
The winner of this match will play either Judd Trump or Ali Carter in the last four of the Masters.
Play gets under way at 7pm GMT on Friday and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at Alexandra Palace.
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