Women's football returns to the BBC
Women's football returns to the BBC on Sunday with live coverage of the first leg of England's World Cup play-off against Switzerland in Shrewsbury on BBC Three and the BBC Sport website from 1900 BST. We will also have live coverage of the second leg, too, which is to be played in Wohlen on Thursday, 16 September.
The Women's World Cup has been extended to 16 teams for the 2011 tournament, which is being hosted by reigning world and European champions Germany. Uefa was given just four other guaranteed places in the finals, so eight qualifying groups have provided eight winners who now play-off in four matches.
England, who avoided the Scandinavian powers of Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well as France and Italy, will start firm favourites against a country that has never played in the Women's World Cup finals before and is 17 places below them in the world rankings.
I edited seven successive FA Women's Cup finals for the BBC between 2002 and 2008 but there is no question that it was the England team that really caught the imagination of the public. The attendances in the north-west of the country and our own viewing figures when England hosted Euro 2005 were fantastic. Coach Hope Powell's team have gone from strength to strength since then, reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in China in 2007 and reaching the final of Euro 2009 in Finland.
The core of the England team remains from five years ago: Rachel Brown in goal, captain Faye White and Casey Stoney in central defence with Alex Scott and Rachel Unitt at full-back; Katie Chapman and Fara Williams in midfield with Kelly Smith the playmaker; Eniola Aluko up front with Karen Carney and Rachel Yankey down the flanks.
Rachel Yankey will be pleased to be involved with England again
Yankey missed out on the Euros last year and I know how disappointed she was - she appeared as a guest on the BBC for the final against Germany - so it is good she is back in form and involved again, even though her place in the team may be at the expense of our regular studio pundit Sue Smith.
The one player that has really emerged on the international stage since 2005 is midfielder Jill Scott, who had an excellent tournament in Finland 12 months ago, while five of the England squad - Alex Scott, Carney, Chapman, Kelly Smith and Aluko - now play in the United States.
England have evolved into a very strong international side over the last five years - they are now ranked ninth in the world - and the experience and maturity they have suggests 2011 will be this squad's big chance for international glory. Brown, Kelly Smith, White and Yankey are now all in their early thirties.
Powell has played down the favourites' tag by saying: "The games you are expected to win are invariably the toughest." But England are expected to reach the finals, which kick off in Berlin's Olympiastadion - the venue of the 2006 men's World Cup final between Italy and France - on Sunday, 26 June, 2011.
An unexpected 2-2 draw between England and Switzerland in the Cyprus Cup friendly tournament in March suggests this two-legged affair may be no walkover, while Switzerland won a qualifying group that featured the Republic of Ireland and Russia. But England were under-strength in Cyprus that day and they have no injury concerns ahead of this contest.
Whatever happens, you can follow every kick on the BBC. I hope you will join us.
Gabby Logan presents live coverage of the first leg from Shrewsbury on BBC Three and the BBC Sport website from 1900 BST on Sunday.
Jake Humphrey presents live coverage of the second leg from Wohlen on the Red Button and the BBC Sport website from 1755 BST on Thursday, 16 September, with live coverage of the second half from 1900 BST on BBC Three.
Martin Keown and Jo Potter are in the studio, while our regular commentary team of Guy Mowbray and Lucy Ward will be in both Shrewsbury and Wohlen.