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By ESPN Staff

England announce squad for Women's World Cup

England women's head coach Hope Powell played down expectations after she named her squad for the World Cup in China next month.

There were few surprises as Powell announced her 21-player squad, that included nine members of the Arsenal Ladies quadruple-winning team from last season.

England sealed qualification for the tournament after emerging as unlikely victors from a group that included much-fancied France and Holland.

Despite Powell's team remaining unbeaten during qualification, the head coach is cautious about going into the competition with too much confidence.

'The first priority is getting out of the group and that's all we're focusing on at the moment but we'll be ready for that opening game against Japan and then we'll take it from there,' said Powell.

England take on Japan in their opening game on September 11 and will also face holders and favourites Germany and Argentina.

The team drew 0-0 with the Germans in the China Cup at the beginning of the year just three months after being on the receiving end of a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the same team.

The England coach is fully aware of the German's capabilities and is under no illusions about the task facing her side in their first World Cup since 1995.

She added: 'It's not an easy group but in a World Cup campaign you don't expect any easy matches.

'We're up against the European and World Cup holders Germany who are a great side and then there's Argentina and Japan who are unknown quantities but we'll be ready for them and it's now down to us to be in the best possible shape physically and mentally for that first game.

'It could have been a lot worse - I was glad we avoided Sweden and Brazil.'

The squad will fly out to the Far East on 19 August, allowing three weeks for players to acclimatise before they kick-off against Japan in Shanghai and Powell, after weeks of deliberation, feels she has chosen the right blend of players.

'Selecting the squad was certainly a lot tougher this time than the European Championships in 2005 and I think that's tribute to the players for working hard and the young players coming through,' said Powell.

'I think we've got the balance right with cover in every position and versatile players so I'm happy with the squad I've picked.'

England squad for the 2007 Women's World Cup:

1 Rachel Brown - Everton
2 Alex Scott - Arsenal
3 Casey Stoney - Chelsea
4 Katie Chapman - Arsenal
5 Faye White - Arsenal
6 Mary Phillip - Arsenal
7 Karen Carney - Arsenal
8 Fara Williams - Everton
9 Eniola Aluko - Chelsea
10 Kelly Smith - Arsenal
11 Rachel Yankey - Arsenal
12 Anita Asante - Arsenal
13 Siobhan Chamberlain - Chelsea
14 Rachel Unitt - Everton
15 Sue Smith - Leeds United
16 Jill Scott - Everton
17 Jody Handley - Everton
18 Lianne Sanderson - Arsenal
19 Vicky Exley - Doncaster Rovers Belles
20 Stephanie Houghton - Leeds United
21 Carly Telford - Leeds United