Ronnie O’Sullivan will be aiming to avert another shock result at the hands of Hossein Vafaei when they lock horns in the World Grand Prix second round on Thursday.
The last 16 of the 32-man event draws to a conclusion at the Coventry Building Society Arena, while the quarter-finals also commence.
The resumption of the Rocket’s quest for a second title sees him go head to head with Vafaei, who ran out a comprehensive 5-0 winner when they collided in the German Masters qualifiers two months ago.
O’Sullivan, who lifted this trophy in 2018, began with a far from spectacular 4-1 win over UK Championship quarter-finalist Andy Hicks in the opening round, and knows he will have to up his game here.
World number 47 Vafaei put Gary Wilson to the sword by the same scoreline on Wednesday and, along with his whitewash of the six-time World champion, has also claimed the scalp of Mark Selby this season; doing so at the UK Championship just over three weeks ago.
Seeking his maiden title in an event televised on ITV, four-time Crucible king Selby faces an all-Leicester clash in the quarter-finals with Tom Ford, who has already defeated John Higgins and Judd Trump so far this week.
The other last-eight encounter sees two of snooker’s highest-ranked overseas players to battle as Neil Robertson and Yan Bingtao go head to head.
Both players have only dropped a single frame in their two matches thus far, though Yan has prevailed in three of their four previous meetings.
Elsewhere, Scottish Open champion Luca Brecel seeks a 15th win from his last 16 matches when he takes on former European Masters winner Jimmy Robertson.
Stuart Bingham faces Ali Carter in a repeat of the 2020 Masters final, which Ballrun won 10-8, while former Tour Championship winner Stephen Maguire looks to record his sixth win over Jack Lisowski in seven attempts.
Play gets underway at 1pm GMT at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Thursday.
All second-round matches are contested over the best of seven frames, while the quarter-finals will be played over nine.
World Grand Prix Snooker 2021 Schedule
Thursday December 16
23 Ronnie O’Sullivan v Hossein Vafaei
24 Luca Brecel v Jimmy Robertson
21 Stephen Maguire v Jack Lisowski
22 Stuart Bingham v Ali Carter
25 Neil Robertson v Yan Bingtao
26 Mark Selby v Tom Ford