Neil Robertson looks to maintain his impressive record against Mark Selby when they collide in the Northern Ireland Open quarter-finals.
The players ranked third and fourth in the world respectively lock horns in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Friday.
Both are just three wins away from becoming the joint-most decorated players in Home Nations history, joining Judd Trump on four titles.
Robertson is aiming to become the first player to win all four trophies in the series, and has made five centuries so far this week in his quest to do so.
The Thunder had never previously progressed beyond the last 32 of this event, but he has marched into unchartered territory following victories over Fraser Patrick, Fan Zhengyi, John Astley and Li Hang.
And the recent head to head record would certainly make him the favourite for this one; the Australian having prevailed in 11 of his last 12 encounters with Selby, including the last five.
You must go back to a 13-7 victory in the 2020 World Championship quarter-finals for the Jester’s most recent triumph in this fixture, and he will be desperate to end the losing streak here.
Having reached just a single ranking quarter-final since landing his fourth Crucible crown in May 2021, it is now two in a row for Selby. Indeed, he advanced to the last eight of the British Open earlier this month, where he was denied by Mark Allen.
His latest mission to become the second player – after Robertson – to win three of the four Home Nations titles has yielded a quartet of 4-2 victories over Reanne Evans, Sam Craigie, Hammad Miah and Michael White.
The winner of this match will play either Mark Williams or Mark Allen in the Northern Ireland Open semi-finals.
Play gets underway at around 4pm BST on Friday with the match contested over the best of nine frames at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
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