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Mark Allen v Stephen Maguire: Tour Championship 2020 final preview – Pistol and Maverick face off for the title

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Mark Allen storms past Mark Selby to reach Tour Championship final

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Superb Stephen Maguire claims Tour Championship crown

Maguire and Allen prepare to put their friendship to one side (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images)

A new champion will be crowned at the 2020 Tour Championship in Milton Keynes on Friday as Mark Allen and Stephen Maguire go head-to-head.

The two close friends will become rivals on the table as they face off for the £150,000 top prize, and in Maguire’s case, a shot at a further £100,000 bonus.

Maguire has grabbed an unexpected opportunity with both hands, having only received a place in the Tour Championship at late notice due to the withdrawal of Ding Junhui.

The 39-year-old is looking to end a seven-year wait for a ranking title, having last tasted success at the 2013 Welsh Open.

Should he go all the way, the Scot would also clinch the Coral Cup at the expense of Judd Trump, scooping a tidy £100,000 bonus in the process.

Maguire started the week in record-breaking fashion by producing six century breaks on the way to a 9-5 victory over Neil Robertson, before a contrastingly low-scoring encounter saw him defeat Trump 9-6 in the Semi-Finals.

Maguire was runner-up in last December’s UK Championship and has lost five of his last six ranking finals dating back to 2008.

Allen, meanwhile, finds himself in a first ranking final since the 2018 Scottish Open – which he won by defeating Shaun Murphy 9-7.

The Northern Ireland ace has also come through two polar opposite contests en route to the final, kicking off with a thrilling 9-8 victory over Murphy – who made six century breaks.

Allen then pulled off a 9-2 demolition of an out of sorts Mark Selby, restricting the three-time World Champion to no balls potted in the first four frames.

He is bidding for his sixth ranking title and has a 50/50 record in ranking finals to date.

Allen has won four of his six previous meetings with Maguire, though it was the Glaswegian who pulled off a 6-0 whitewash in their most recent encounter in the 2019 UK Championship Semi-Final.

The final gets underway from 1.30pm BST for a total of eight frames before resuming to a finish over the best of 19 from 7pm.