The size of China's squad for December's East Asian Games will dwarf those of other participating nations, including the 385 athletes competing for hosts, Hong Kong - the city's largest team assembled for a multi-sports event. The mainland will confirm their entries only at the end of the month. But hopes are high that many of the nation's star athletes, including hurdler Liu Xiang and diving star Guo Jingjing will be making the trip. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong soccer team were handed a tough draw yesterday: they face South Korea and China in the group stage. 'The chance of making it to the semi-finals does not look good,' said Brian Leung Hung-tak, the Football Association chairman. The other group comprises Japan, North Korea and Macau, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semi-finals. In volleyball, Hong Kong's men's and women's teams will qualify for the last four if they defeat Guam in the group stage. 'China will send their best players in the women's competition; it will be interesting to see how they bounce back after a surprise loss to Thailand at the Asian championships,' said Cheung Chi-wai of the Volleyball Association. Eight teams start in the men's basketball contest. Hong Kong are in group B with Japan, South Korea and Guam. Group A comprises defending champions Taiwan, Macau, China and Mongolia. Two from each group contest the semi-finals. Six women's basketball teams, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Guam and Hong Kong, will play a round-robin format, with the top four making it to the next stage.