LOTHAR MATTHAUS believes England have a “big problem” in one particular position that could derail their World Cup chances.
But the Germany legend still considers the Three Lions one of the favourites for Qatar 2022 despite the weak point.
The England team has a weak link according to Lothar MatthausCredit: Alamy
Gareth Southgate is hoping his side can score their first goal in open play since a 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast in March.
However, Matthaus reckons England’s major issue is at the other end of the pitch.
The World Cup-winning captain believes the lack of an elite goalkeeper could be the 1966 champions’ undoing.
“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.
“But maybe they have a problem with the goalkeeper.
Matthaus is not convinced by Jordan Pickford in goalCredit: AFP
“They don’t have a goalkeeper like Germany.
“This can be a big problem – you need each player in the World Cup.”
Jordan Pickford made his debut in 2017 and has been England’s first choice since 2018, including at the World Cup and Euros.
However, he has come under scrutiny in the last year after a number of blunders for Everton – but did have a dramatic upturn in form as his saves helped keep the Toffees in the Premier League last season.
But with Pickford injured for the current Nations League international break, Nick Pope has got the nod with Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson the back-ups.
Pickford is expected to keep his place between the sticks in Qatar – but it is a significant drop-off in quality from the world-class options available to their rivals.
Germany have Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer at their disposal while Brazil boast Ederson and Alisson.
Matthaus also believes Germany and Spain have an advantage over the likes of England and France – because of their schedule with only one domestic cup competition.
He added: “I think it is good especially for the countries with such a long league championship without a winter break to play this World Cup during the season rather than at the end.
“You have so many games and one [domestic] cup competition more.
“This means the best players generally have between six and ten games more than in Germany and Spain.’
Dean Henderson, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope have been the Three Lions stoppers this weekCredit: Getty
Brazil have Ederson and Alisson to choose betweenCredit: AFP