The 16-year-old may not be a new face for Humphries, but he has burst into the wider public’s consciousness with his string of sublime performances at Alexandra Palace.
Littler showed he meant business in his opening match, thrashing Christian Kist 3-0 with an average of 106 in his debut contest in the World Championsihp.
Since then he has ousted Andrew Gilding, Matt Campbell, Raymond van Barneveld, Brendan Dolan and Rob Cross without any of them really getting close to the teenager.
Cross was to be the biggest challenge for him to date, and the former world champion played brilliantly, but was brushed aside 6-2 with another 106 average.
Humphries is the final man who can stop Littler becoming the youngest ever world champion and he knows he will have to turn in an immense performance to do so.
‘The way he’s played, I’ve seen it many times – but when you come up on this stage, it can be a lot tougher, and he’s just proved he’s got a lot of bottle,’ Humphries told Sky Sports after beating Scott Williams 6-0 in the semis.
‘Nothing is going to faze him – if he played like that tonight, tomorrow is not going to faze him at all.
‘So I’ll probably have to play the game of my life to stand a chance of beating him. I know what’s in front of me, I’ve got to play at my best.
‘But I’m hoping I make him play at his best and we give the fans one of the best world finals that’s ever been seen.’
Humphries added: ‘I probably believed in him a lot more than everybody else because I knew how good he was. The only thing that would have sat in my mind is, in the big occasion, can he do it? And he’s showed he can.
‘So for me I don’t think it’s a massive surprise, I think he’s shown this over the last year how good he is. He’s showed he’s got a lot of bottle, a lot of tenacity and he won’t be overawed tomorrow and I won’t be either, so I’m really looking forward to the prospect of a final between me and Luke.’
A picture emerged on social media ahead of the semi-finals of a 12-year-old Littler with Humphries at a local competition and Cool Hand remembers taking on the youngster well.
‘First time I played him I think he was 12 and he was scarily good then,’ he said. ‘It was a local competition. I think he missed a 164 to go two-up and I took out 64 in three, I remember what happened!
‘When you’re a 12-year-old playing that well there is some talent there. Regardless of what happens tomorrow he’s got a massive, massive bright future. Hopefully I win tomorrow and he can go on and win loads afterwards.’
Humphries hopes not, but it would be no shock for him to see the 16-year-old holding the Sid Waddell Trophy, saying he was convinced after watching his fourth round win over five-time world champion Van Barneveld.
Asked if Littler could be world champion after that match, Humphries said: ‘100 per cent. I probably wouldn’t have believed it three weeks ago, but the way that he performed against Barney. If you put him as favourite I wouldn’t say that’s a shock. It will take a really big performance to beat him.’
Humphries will be trying to produce that big performance from 8pm on Wednesday 3 January.
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