MARK SELBY V STEPHEN LEE
Selby's record in the Masters is superb: two titles plus one runners-up spot in four appearances.
But he fell at the first fence to Mark King last year and went off the boil at the UK Championship against Marco Fu after a fine start in whitewashing Ryan Day.
Selby, though, has to be favourite today. His consistency has been rewarded by top spot in the world rankings and though Lee has made a creditable return to the top 16, the Trowbridge man has not done so with many extended runs in tournaments.
Lee's last match at the Masters was his 10-3 defeat to Selby in the final four years ago. He remains a fine cueist but this will be a test.
Prediction: Selby to win 6-3
GRAEME DOTT V ALI CARTER
Carter has been in the doldrums of late, unhappy with his snooker but talking of retirement.
The tenacious Dott is probably not the player he would have chosen to play in this scenario. The Glaswegian beat him at last year's World Championship, at one point underlining his poise under pressure by winning three successive frames on the black.
Dott is the sort of player who recognises the key psychological points in a match and invariably takes advantage of them. Carter can get frustrated and this is not the best recipe for an Essex victory.
Prediction: Dott to win 6-4