John Higgins expects to have to raise his game when he takes on Mark Allen in the semi-finals of the Masters at the Alexandra Palace.
Two-time winner Higgins booked his last-four spot with a convincing 6-1 triumph over Ryan Day, while Allen claimed victory by the same scoreline over defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.
He'll fancy it now he has beaten the favourite in O'Sullivan.John Higgins
However, Higgins felt that he had benefitted by Day being far from his best and he is ready for a much tougher time against Northern Ireland left-hander Allen.
He told World Snooker: "Mark will raise his game and I’ll have to raise mine. It should be a great game. I have every respect for him and rate him highly.
"He'll fancy it now he has beaten the favourite in O'Sullivan. He won't fear anyone else.
"Mark hasn't been in many semis at the big (BBC) events, but neither have I lately. I might be feeling the nerves a bit, but I'll try to block that out and I feel good about my game."
Higgins can be backed at 4/6 to defeat Allen and is 11/2 to claim a 6-3 victory, while Higgins - Masters champion in 1999 and 2006 - is available at 6/4 to win a third Masters title at the weekend.
The first semi-final sees Judd Trump take on fellow Englishman Kyren Wilson.
Trump reached the last four with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Shaun Murphy, while Wilson progressed thanks to a comprehensive 6-1 win over Mark Williams.
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