Lin Dan
Lin Dan will lead China in the semi-final against Japan on Saturday Reuters

Defending champions China take on 2015 runners-up Japan in the second semi-final of 2017 Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday.

The 10-time champions made light work of India in the quarter-final on Friday to inch closer to what will be their 12th consecutive final appearance. On the other hand, Japan brushed aside Malaysia's challenge to set up a rematch of last edition's final with China tomorrow.

With both teams having power-packed doubles units, tomorrow's semi-final will be hard-fought contest. Women's singles shuttler Akane Yamaguchi holds the key for the inaugural Badminton Asia Championships winners as a win for the world number three against lower-ranked Sun Yu or He Bingjiao will give her team a crucial point.

In the Men's singles China are overwhelming favourites with both Lin Dan and Chen Long in the team. Mixed doubles pairing of Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, who have been in form this season, is also expected to face little difficulties in dispatching off their Japanese opponents.

Little to separate the doubles teams'

World number one Women's doubles pairing of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi hold the edge over Chinese top-ranked shuttlers Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan but the latter pair has defeated the former twice in three meetings last year.

The outcome of Men's doubles rubber between world number three pairing Liu Yuchen/Li Junhui of China and world number six Japanese pairing of Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda is hard to predict as well with both pairs winning two matches against each other in the past.

Team News

China

Possible line-up: Lin Dan (MS), Sun Yu (WS), Liu Yuchen/Li Junhui (MD), Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan (WD), Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong (XD)

Japan

Possible line-up: Kenta Nishimoto (MS), Akane Yamaguchi (WS), Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (MS), Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (WD), Arisa Higashino/Yuta Watanabe (XD)