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England - A tall order

A nation dedicated to football but can England's women's team live up to such high expectations?

They certainly have the talent in key veteran Kelly Smith, captain Faye White and speedy striker Rachel Yankey to mention just three.

Boasting talented individuals is one thing but to play as a team is a more important quality for a team that wants to succeed.

This is where manager Hope Powell comes in. The 'A' license-qualified coach achieved what many thought was impossible by guiding England through the qualifiers and past well-fancied teams like France and the Netherlands, particularly as England failed to negotiate their way out of the groups stages of the 2005 European Championships on home soil.

England's appearance at in China will be only their second World Cup bow, having played two and lost two matches at the 1995 edition in Sweden.

Whether Powell has a team capable of delivering victory on a global stage remains to be seen, but what is sure is that if England are to progress further than previous World Cups they must come up with something special.

The competition is extremely tough and England must play exceptionally well to reach the final.