Mark Selby and Mark Allen collide in a mouth-watering Semi-Final showdown at the World Snooker Championship.
The players ranked second and third in the world go head to head in what promises to be a gripping battle of the Marks at The Crucible.
And not only will the winner book their place in this year’s final, but they are also likely to be a heavy favourite to lift the trophy on Monday.
Though separated by just a single ranking place, there is a huge contrast in their experience levels at this stage of snooker’s blue-riband event.
Indeed, this is Selby’s eighth appearance in the one-table situation, while this only Allen’s second venture to the last four – and first since 2009.
The only remaining former champion, four of Selby’s seven previous runs to the semi-finals have culminated in him lifting the trophy.
The Jester will be confident of going on to claim his fifth title and close the gap on Steve Davis and Ray Reardon (six apiece), having recovered from 4-1 down by winning 12 of the last 15 frames to defeat John Higgins 13-7 in the quarter-finals – matching the scoreline of his second-round win over Gary Wilson.
Although, he has lost three of the four semi-finals he has contested with Allen, most recently a 9-2 rout at the 2020 Tour Championship.
The Pistol is set to appear in a long overdue second Crucible semi-final – 14 years after his first – after battling past stubborn debutant Jak Jones 13-10 in the last eight.
That came after commanding wins over Fan Zhengyi and 2015 champion Stuart Bingham, but Allen will be confident his best form is yet to come as he looks to finally get his hands on the biggest prize in snooker.
Doing so would see him become only the 12th different player to complete the Triple Crown, and victory over the four-time champion here would move him one win away from achieving the feat.
A final showdown with either Luca Brecel or Si Jiahui awaits the winner of this 33-frame extravaganza at The Crucible.
Play gets underway at 7pm BST on Thursday with the opening eight frames. Eight more follow at 2.30pm on Friday and 10am on Saturday, before concluding later that day with a maximum of nine from 7pm.
How to watch Selby v Allen live stream
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