SHAUN Murphy knows exactly how tough his last-eight clash with Luca Brecel will be today – he’s been watching the teenage phenomenon at close quarters for years.

The Magician has been in fine form so far at the UK Championship, but meets a Belgian prodigy with momentum behind him after he followed up his shock first round victory over Ricky Walden with another upset against Mark King yesterday.

“I have known Luca for quite some time because I am friends with his coach, Chris Henry, so I have seen him come through from the last five or six years,” Murphy said.

“He told me a long time ago he was going to be the next big thing.

“At just 17 years of age, getting to the Crucible, and the last 16 here – he is looking like the real deal.

“It will be a tough game.”