Both players have yet to drop a set at the tournament, with Sharapova losing just nine games on her way to the last four.
Sixth seed Li has enjoyed some success against the Russian in recent years, most notably in the semi-finals of the 2011 French Open before going on to win her only Slam singles title to date.
However, Sharapova has triumphed in their last four encounters - a statistic that will see the second seed start the contest as the favourite.
Head to Head record:
Li 4-8 Sharapova
Previous best at Australian Open:
Li: Final 2011
Sharapova: Winner 2008
Route to semi-finals:
R1: Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1 6-3
R2: Olga Govortsova 6-2 7-5
R3: Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-1
R4: Julia Goerges 7-6(6) 6-1
QF: Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-3
R1: Olga Puchkova 6-0 6-0
R2: Misaki Doi 6-0 6-0
R3: Venus Williams 6-1 6-3
R4: Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-0
QF: Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-2
Sports Mole says: Sharapova to scrape into the final