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Women's World Cup coverage

Lance Hardy | 14:37 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2007

This coming Monday, 10 September sees the start of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China - England are there and hopes are high of a successful tournament for Hope Powell's side.

It is the first time in 12 years that England have reached the World Cup finals. Back then, in Sweden in 1995, England got to the last eight where they fell 3-0 to eventual finalists Germany.

This time around, Germany are placed alongside England, Argentina and Japan in Group A. The Germans remain a major power in women's football, Birgit Prinz and her side are reigning World Cup and European champions and start this tournament second-favourites behind the USA.

Germany are largely expected to win the group. On paper, Japan are ranked second, England third and Argentina fourth which all makes England's opening fixture against Japan in Shanghai on Tuesday (live on BBC TWO, 1245 BST) a crucial fixture.

Hope Powell's side have spent three weeks acclimatising to the conditions and England will be very happy that the match is to be played in the evening rather than the afternoon. No injuries are currently reported from the team hotel and Hope should be able to field her first choice 11.

We have an England camp out in Shanghai reporting all the latest news into our TV football output across this weekend (on Football Focus and MOTD Live) before the tournament gets underway.

From Monday, BBC TWO will show nightly highlights of all the action and all England matches will be shown live in the afternoon. Both semi-finals and the final will also be shown live on BBC TWO. In addition, many other matches will be shown live via the red button on BBCi and streamed live on the website. You can check the timetable on the BBC Sport website to see where and when you can catch the matches.

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Jacqui Oatley is our reporter with the England camp in Shanghai while Jake Humphrey will be providing news reports and features from around China.

Back in London, Gabby Logan will host the shows with expert analysis from Josanne Potter, who was unlucky to miss out on a place in the England squad due to injury, England's all-time record goalscorer Karen Walker (who played in the 1995 World Cup alongside Powell) and Gavin Peacock.

The 21 players who carry the nation's hopes this year are featured in a special film which is now available on the BBC Sport website.

Women's football has grown immensely over the past six years that I have been fortunate enough to work on it for the BBC, and England's hosting of Women's Euro 2005 proved to be a real watershed for the sport in this country with record crowds and increased participation in the sport nationwide.

A last-minute winner against Finland in the opening match and a celebration to savour courtesy of 17-year-old Karen Carney supplied one of the moments of the tournament and did a lot to take interest in the sport to a new level.

On that occasion, Powell's side narrowly failed to get out of the group stage - a draw against much-fancied Sweden would have put them top of their group but a 1-0 defeat left them bottom and out of the competition. This time around, they will be hoping to go a lot further.

I hope you enjoy the coverage.

BBC iD

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