Former world number one Lee Westwood will be appearing in his ninth successive Ryder Cup contest this week and says the European team is as powerful as any of the other eight he has been involved with.

Europe have won seven of the last nine editions and, with four of the top six players in the world rankings included in this year's side, it is little wonder they are regarded as the favourites to triumph again.

I've played on some strong teams but I tell you, this is right up there

Lee Westwood

"I've played on some strong teams but I tell you, this is right up there," wildcard pick Westwood told a news conference.

"It's equally as strong. We have got a lot of very good, world-class players. Pretty much... all the big tournaments this year have been won by Europeans and people on the team. We are in a pretty good position.

"We are confident without being complacent and looking forward to the week and showing how good we can play and come together as a team."

Europe captain Paul McGinley showed his hand for the first time on Tuesday when he sent his players out to practise on the Jack Nicklaus-designed Centenary Course at Gleneagles in four groups of three.

McIlroy (one), Garcia (three), Stenson (five) and Rose (six) are all at the top end of the world rankings and Bjorn said that was precisely the reason Europe were regarded as the favourites to win this week.

The biennial team event starts on Friday.

Source: Reuters