Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins lock horns once more in an eagerly anticipated World Championship semi-final showdown on Thursday.
Snooker’s Clasico takes centre stage at the Crucible, where Judd Trump or Mark Williams awaits in Sunday’s showpiece.
It is only the third time that the two greats have met at the one-table stage in Sheffield. Higgins was a 17-9 winner in the semi-finals on the first to his first title in 1998, with O’Sullivan exacting his revenge 18-14 in the showpiece three years later.
But the Scotsman has had the better of the recent history between the players; winning five of their last six meetings, including all three this season.
Beaten in five finals this term, Higgins will be hoping his moment arrives on the biggest stage of all for a fifth time.
The Scotsman was emotional after recovering from 12-11 down to edge out Jack Lisowski in the last eight, insisting he would have to raise his game against the Rocket.
The Wizard has also beaten Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham on the way to reaching an 11th Crucible semi-final.
That is just two shy of the record, which is one of many claimed by O’Sullivan this fortnight.
Indeed, the Rocket is set for his 13th appearance in the one-table setup and he has progressed with relative ease thus far.
The six-time World champion recovered from losing the first three frames against David Gilbert in the opening round to prevail 10-5.
Mark Allen and Stephen Maguire were then put to the sword 13-4 and 13-5 respectively, so the 46-year-old still has plenty in the tank as he looks to equal Stephen Hendry on seven Crucible titles.
The match gets under way from 7pm BST on Thursday for a maximum of eight frames, resuming from 2.30pm on Friday before being played to a finish over the best of 33 from 10am and 7pm on Saturday.
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