Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has underlined the problem with Gareth Southgate's England squad ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also picked his favorites for the tournament, of which the Three Lions are one.
Southgate's squad has been largely disappointing in their Nations League fixtures this month. Hence, it does come as a surprise that Matthaus has picked them as one of the favorites.
While speaking to GOAL about the teams that stand a chance of winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 1990 World Cup winner said:
"Brazil is one of the favourites. They have had a great qualifying campaign, losing points in only two games (draws). I think France is also a very good team as they have very good players, not only Mbappe. They have a team that can have at least three first XIs."
"Then we have England with a lot of good players but they lost against Hungary yesterday but still, they are a very good team. Maybe they have a problem with the goalkeeping department but they have great players in other positions.
In their four Nations League Group A fixtures so far, the Three Lions are winless, having lost two and drawn two. They have only scored one goal in those four games, losing twice against Hungary. Their recent 4-0 scoreline in the defeat against Hungary was their worst at home in 94 years.
Southgate has been trying to work different permuations and combinations with the England side but nothing has clicked. England may be treating these games as dress rehearsals for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but these results are still discouraging.
Matthaus also heaped praise on Germany and included them in his favorites, with Die Mannschaft still unbeaten after 13 games under Hansi Flick. He said:
"Germany are a good team. They crashed out in the group stages last time but I think they are one of the favourites this time around. Hansi Flick is doing a great job with the team."
Germany are currently second in the group behind Hungary and above Italy and England. They will also look to gather momentum ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in their remaining fixtures.
World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus positive about the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and host nation Qatar
While speaking to GOAL, the Ballon d'Or winner also spoke about the benefits of having the tournament in the months of November and December in Qatar. The German believes it is going to be a 'perfect' tournament. He said:
"Yes. The time to play the World Cup is perfect. The 1986 World Cup was very hot. 1994 was also very hot when we played. But here in November and December, it will be perfect climate to play football. It is fantastic."
The 61-year-old was in attendance in Doha when Costa Rica faced New Zealand for the final spot of the World Cup. He shared his experience and further expressed his excitement for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Matthaus told GOAL:
"I felt so comfortable inside the stadium. The place was air conditioned. It was perfect for the players. The pitch was perfect and everything is perfect for the World Cup. There are beautiful facilities (in Qatar). It is very good for the sepctators. We will have a party in Qatar"
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to commence on November 21, with Senegal taking on the Netherlands in the first fixture.