ENGLAND are still one of the favourites to win the World Cup this winter – despite their Nations League humiliation.
The Three Lions were relegated to Group B on Friday following a 1-0 defeat to Italy in Milan.
England were relegated from their Nations League Group last weekendCredit: Alamy
Gareth Southgate is under mounting pressure ahead of the World CupCredit: Getty
But Germany legend Lothar Matthaus believes the Three Lions are still one of the favourites to win Qatar 2022Credit: AFP
Defeat at the San Siro has left the Euro 2020 finalists rock bottom of their group with two points to their name, but Germany legend Lothar Matthaus reckons Gareth Southgate’s troops are serious contenders to win Qatar 2022.
He told The Telegraph: “When you see the names of the players, England are one of the favourites in the World Cup. England and France could have three first teams.
“Fourth place in Russia. Final of the Euros – they are getting very close to winning a title after 1966.”
Although Matthaus believes Southgate has a strong squad at his disposal, he has serious doubts over the keepers available to the under-fire manager.
He continued: “But maybe they have a problem with the goalkeeper.
“They don’t have a goalkeeper like Germany. This can be a big problem. You need each player in the World Cup.”
England will bid to end their Nations League campaign on a high with victory over the Germans at Wembley tonight.
And Southgate has urged fans not to hit the panic button just yet.
He admitted: “The results haven’t been at the level we want, that we require, so no matter what job you have in football that would be the case.
“Of course, with the national team that noise is going to be louder and more widespread, I understand that.
“I’m not hiding from it, we are not enjoying it but we have to keep doing the right things every day to keep improving.”
He added: “I’m now sadly in my 50s, I have been in football for 30 years… this will be my seventh as player or a coach, so I have seen pretty much everything.
“The cycle of war with the media – we are somewhere in the middle of that, it is an experience that I knew at some point would probably come with this job so I have to accept that.”
Winger Raheem Sterling echoed his manager’s call for calm, saying: “In football, there’s ups and downs.
“It’s not a time to panic. The game tomorrow is another opportunity, in front of the fans, to take a step in the right direction.”