A WAR of words has erupted between China coach Li Yongbo and Indonesian team manager Rexy Mainaky ahead of today’s crucial Sudirman Cup Group A tie.
Yongbo was quoted in the China media as saying that his experienced team would easily beat Indonesia 5-0 to top the group.
"We whitewashed India 5-0 in our first tie …I want the same result against Indonesia. It will be nice to go on a 10-0 record ahead of the quarter-finals. It will raise my team’s confidence," said Yongbo.
Upset with Yongbo’s undermining comment, Rexy said his team are also capable of winning 5-0.
"We are not here to make the numbers. The morale of my team is high after today’s (yesterday) 4-1 win over India. We are safely through the quarter-finals but of course, we want to do one better by topping the group," said Rexy at Putra Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
"We have a chance of winning. It is about strategising and picking the right players for this match. We fielded our best line-up against India but it does not mean the same players will play tomorrow (today)."
China, the defending champions, have won the title nine times while Indonesia clinched the first edition in 1989.
Regarded as the strongest team in the competition, China are favourites to record their fifth straight win over their rivals.
Indonesia have a weakened men’s singles line-up in Tommy Sugiarto and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka as former World Championships finalist Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso are injured.
Dionysius was beaten by India’s P. Kashyap in men’s singles but his teammates won the remaining matches yesterday.
"Yes, we only have Dionysius and Tommy but both are capable players. We have not decided who will play Chen Long tomorrow," Rexy added.