Malaysia have been grouped with Japan at the Asian Team Championships in Hyderabad, India later this month.
For Malaysia, this gives them an opportunity to avenge their loss to Japan in the final of the 2014 Thomas Cup Finals as they were beaten 3-2.
However, their chances of doing so are slim as Malaysia have a squad full of youngsters and debutants, while Japan have sent a star-studded side for the competition, which serves as a qualifier for the Thomas Cup Finals.
The other two teams joining Malaysia and Japan in Group B are Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Despite Malaysia being at an obvious disadvantage against Japan, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai is confident that the team can give Japan a run for their money.
“Japan are the only tough opponents in the group. We should do well enough to finish in the top two to make the quarter-finals,” Chin Chai told The Star. “Winning the group would be ideal, but it’s going to be tough. I believe our players will stretch Japan to the limit.”
The 2016 Asian Team Championships will begin on February 15 and conclude on February 21.