Ronnie O’Sullivan looks to maintain his dominant record against Liang Wenbo when they clash in the European Masters semi-finals on Saturday.
Great friends off the table, the duo collide for the right to face Graeme Dott or Fan Zhengyi in Sunday’s showpiece at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
The head-to-head record certainly favours O’Sullivan, who has won 10 of his 11 previous meetings with Liang – most recently a 4-3 success at the Scottish Open in December.
The Rocket’s only reverse against the Firecracker came courtesy of a 6-4 defeat at the 2013 International Championship.
O’Sullivan has looked generally solid on the way to reaching his 87th career ranking event semi-final – and fourth of this season.
The six-time World champion has compiled seven centuries and produced several timely clearances to overturn significant deficits while putting Nigel Bond, Zhang Anda, Wu Yize, Ashley Hugill and Tom Ford to the sword.
He looked particularly impressive against the latter; making breaks of 136, 109, 90 and 74 on the way to a commanding 5-1 win.
Meanwhile, Liang is set to appear in his second successive ranking event semi-final, having waited just under five years to do so prior to the Shootout last month.
Taking his career tally to seven – having won three of his six previous such matches – the former English Open champion secured his spot in dramatic fashion by edging out Anthony McGill on the final pink in the quarter-finals.
Like his opponent, Liang would move top of the BetVictor European Series by lifting the trophy on Sunday.
But the world number 35 knows he will have to produce his optimum performance levels in order to record only a second victory over the Rocket in 12 attempts.
Play gets underway at 7pm GMT on Saturday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
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