Malaysia will open their anticipated Thomas Cup Group D campaign against Hong Kong on Saturday (8.30am), and StadiumAstro takes a look at the national team's potential line-up in this pivotal clash.

Lee Zii Jia vs Lee Cheuk Yiu

Both the Lee’s, who are their team’s highest ranked shuttlers at world number 10 & 15 will square off in the first singles.

Form wise, there is not much separating them this season with Zii Jia posting several quarter-finals showings as his best results, while Cheuk Yiu has a second place finish after going on a fine run at the India Open.

The Hong Kong star has a 2-1 head-to-head win percentage against the Malaysian, who did beat him in their last encounter at last year’s Denmark Open.

Zii Jia has a lot riding on him in this opening match, but has enough in his repertoire to secure the crucial first point.

Prediction: Zii Jia to win in straight games

Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik vs Law Cheuk Him-Yeung Shing Choi

This first doubles match-up will be a complete mismatch, with 165 world ranking spots separating Chia-Soh and their opponents.

The Malaysians who are a top five pair in the world should have no problems overcoming their lowly ranked opponents, who have not played much on the World Tour this year.

Chia-Soh are expected to be fielded for this tie to get some competitive feel, and if they do play, this encounter should be over in no time.

Prediction: Chia-Soh to win in straight games

Leong Jun Hao vs Angus Ng Ka Long

Both shuttlers have never faced each other before, so this could play out as a fascinating showdown.

Leong has proven he has the ability to shine in team events, just like he did at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in February to help Malaysia reach the final.

He will face an opponent who is still struggling to find his best form this year, after a stellar season in 2023.

What will also work in Leong’s favour is the fact that Malaysia could be 2-0 up when he takes to court.

If there is less pressure on his shoulders, the Malaysian could well finish this tie off with a victory.

Prediction: Leong to win in three games

Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin vs Chow Hin Long-Lui Chun Wai

This second doubles will pan out as a walk in the park for Goh-Izzuddin, who are coming into this team event having secured a silver medal at the recent Badminton Asia Championships.

The Malaysians will be inspired to get off to the strongest start against their much lower ranked opponents (233), who have also not won a match this year.

Like Chia-Soh, this pair could be fielded to get warmed up ahead of the crunch tie against Denmark next week.

Prediction: Goh-Izzuddin to win in straight games

Justin Hoh vs Jason Gunawan

Hoh could get the nod over Cheam June Wei to play as the third singles, and if he does, the youngster will most likely come up against another young talent in Gunawan.

Another reason why Hoh should play instead of Cheam is because the Malaysian has beaten Gunawan in all four of their previous meetings, dating back to their junior playing days since 2018.

Hoh’s last victory over Gunawan came at the China Masters last year, and he will look to make it five consecutive wins to give Malaysia a 5-0 clean sweep victory over Hong Kong.