Pistol Mark Allen aiming at Masters snooker semi-final outing
Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen will be hoping to reach his first Masters semi-final for four years when he faces Joe Perry in the last eight at Alexandra Palace.
‘The Pistol’, 15/2 with Coral to win the Masters, plays ‘the Gentleman’ on day six of this year’s tournament, while Stephen ‘On-fire’ Maguire squares off with Shaun ‘the Magician’ Murphy in the day’s other quarter final pairing.
Joe Perry v Mark Allen
Wisbech-born Perry, 7/4 to win, has defeated Allen in the last two meetings between these players, overcoming ‘the Pistol’ in both last year’s seventh European Tour Event and International Championship round of 16.
However, the Northern Irishman inflicted a heavy 4-0 whitewash on ‘the Gentleman’ in the 2013 third European Tour Event, knocking in the highest match break of 101. Allen is 11/8 to win and score the highest break of this quarter-final, having toppled former Masters champion John Higgins in the first round.
Surprisingly, Perry has a dominant head-to-head record over the prolific potter, securing victory in six of their total 11 competitive encounters. ‘The Fen Potter’ is 31/20 to win the race to four frames against Allen.
Perry impressively dismantled current world number one Ding Junhui in his first round match, securing a shocking 6-3 triumph over ‘the Chinese Sensation’. The Englishman is a 10/1 chance to emerge victorious from his quarter-final outing with the same scoreline.
Stephen Maguire v Shaun Murphy
Glasgow’s ‘Livewire’, 6/5 to win, tamed Judd Trump in his first round outing to set up a fascinating fight with ‘the Magician’ Murphy in a 2008 China Open final rematch.
The last time these two met, Murphy edged past the Scot with a 4-2 win in the third European Tour Event last year. Rotherham native and former Crucible king Murphy is odds-on 4/5 to clinch the opening frame of this quarter-final.
However, it’s extremely tight in head-to-head clashes, as ‘On-fire Maguire’ narrowly edges their encounters with 11 victories to Murphy’s 10, but it’s ‘the Magician’ who enjoys odds-on 4/6 favourite status for their latest bout.
This pair have crossed paths in two UK Championship semi-finals before, with Maguire making short work of his opponent in 2007, before Murphy magically thrashed the Scot in 2008.
With a slight advantage in recent clashes, Murphy, who defeated reigning World champion Mark Selby to reach this stage, is available at 3/1 to pot the highest break and win the match.