Women's World Cup: England have no fear - Eniola Aluko

By Nigel AdderleyBBC Sport

England striker Eniola Aluko says her team have "nothing to fear" at the Women's World Cup following their impressive build-up to the tournament.

Hope Powell's squad are alongside Mexico, New Zealand and Japan in Group B but enjoyed wins over the United States and Sweden in recent friendies.

"I think if you look at the last two games it would be fair to say we can compete with anybody," said Aluko.

"After the US game, Hope wanted us to prove the performance wasn't a fluke."

The 24-year-old told BBC Sport: "That's what we did against the Swedes. These are two of the top five in the world so I think people are now looking at England and thinking 'this is a team to watch out for'.

"If you want to compare us with Germany and other top sides I think there's nothing to fear. I think we need to have the confidence that we can compete and have no fear - we need to just go out and perform."

Aluko, who away from football is a lawyer, plays her club football in the US with the New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC.

And she believes the move across the Atlantic has hugely developed her career as she looks ahead to the World Cup in Germany, starting on Sunday.

"Going to America was the best thing I could have done," she added. "It allowed me to prove to myself and others that I'm one of the best forwards in the league.

"It's such a tight league that playing under that sort of pressure has helped me on the international stage as well. There's a lot of money thrown into the sport in America so there's pressure to repay that as well."

Aluko comes from a footballing family - brother Sone plays for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League - and is preparing for her second World Cup after helping England reach the quarter-finals in China in 2007.

"It's such a privilege to be in this position," she said. "I'm only 24 and this is my second World Cup so I have to pinch myself that I have a second bite at the best experience you can have as a footballer."