With top seeds dropping like flies in the bottom-half of the 2015 Masters draw, a real opportunity has presented itself for the four players left in the hat.
Both matches look close to call on paper, but after extensive combing through the stats, we see both of the slight favourites progressing.
Mark Allen to beat Joe Perry @ 4/9
Having dumped out world number two Ding Junhui in his opening match, many might be plumping for the underdog here, but caution is advised.
Perry’s victory was his first in five attempts at the first-round proper of this event, where he’s lost in the qualifying stages on eight other occasions.
He’s certainly shown good form early in the year, though sixth seed Allen is finally starting to realise his vast potential, winning the Paul Hunter Classic and reaching three other finals in the back half of 2014.
Allen to win 6-4 @ 11/2
Perry actually leads the head-to-head count 2-1, defeating the Pistol 6-4 in their only other ranking event clash at the 2013 International Championship, so he’s unlikely to lie down.
Shaun Murphy to beat Stephen Maguire @ 8/11
Both these gentlemen will be buzzing after dumping out big names in their opening exchanges, to set up the chance for successive semi-final appearances at Alexandra Palace.
However, previous career meetings suggest it’s the Triple Crown-chasing Murphy who has the upper hand.
The Englishman has bettered the Scot in three out of their last four clashes, including the recent Bulgarian Open and triumphed in their last meeting at one of the big three en-route to UK Championship glory back in 2008.
Highest match break: Maguire @ 1/1
These two sit level on 18 century breaks for the season and considering neither player made one last time out, it could pay to side with the underdog in a two-horse race.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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