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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
England draw Germany in World Cup
By Tony Leighton

England's women
England have been drawn in the same group as current world champions Germany at the Women's World Cup.

Hope Powell's squad will also meet Japan and Argentina in September's three-week tournament in China.

Germany claimed the title in 2003 with a 2-1 victory over Sweden, who will meet the United States, Nigeria and North Korea in the group stages.

Norway, Ghana, Australia and Canada have been drawn together, and the hosts meet New Zealand, Brazil and Denmark.

Despite having to face the Germans, the reigning world and European champions and a team England have never beaten, Powell was happy with her team's draw.

Speaking from the draw headquarters she said: "It's not bad at all for us. It could have been far worse - we could have been in the group with America, Sweden and North Korea.

"We know all about Germany and of course they'll be really tough, but we'll have to do our research on Japan and Argentina.

"I'm confident though, that with the improvement we've made over the last couple of years we'll give a good account of ourselves."

As champions Germany will kick off the tournament on 10 September with their match against Argentina in Shanghai.

England will face Japan on 11 September and Germany three days later, both games set for Shanghai, followed by an 18 September meeting with Argentina in Chengdu.

Powell added: "It's good that we'll get the chance to see Argentina in action before we play them, but in any case we'll do our homework on all three teams.

"We did well against Germany in the China Cup earlier in the year and that was a really good exercise, getting ourselves acclimatised to the conditions.

"Japan will be more used to the conditions and they could be tricky opponents, but we are looking forward to these games and we'll be aiming to progress beyond the group stage."

The top two teams in each of the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, with Germany and Japan the favourites to go through from Group A.

Germany are placed number two in Fifa's world rankings behind the United States, while Japan sit ninth, England 12th and Argentina 32nd.

Women's World Cup draw
Group A: Germany, Japan, England & Argentina
Group B: Nigeria, USA, North Korea & Sweden
Group C: Norway, Ghana, Australia & Canada
Group D: China, New Zealand, Brazil & Denmark


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