Matthaus backing England to make World Cup final

Harry Kane, England
The Germany legend believes that the Three Lions can go all the way to the final, having avoided the trickier side of the draw in Russia

Former World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus has backed England to progress to the World Cup final and face Brazil in the winner-takes-all tie in Moscow.

The 57-year-old captained West Germany to the 1990 World Cup and is one of only two players to play in five separate tournaments. He has been heavily critical of Germany's 2018 World Cup exploits, but has been impressed by England's young squad and thinks they have the ability to go all the way to the final.

England are just three games from lifting the trophy, having set up a quarter-final date with Sweden on Saturday after their dramatic penalty shootout win over Colombia.

Having finished second in their group, England avoided the likes of Brazil, France and Uruguay in their side of the draw and Matthaus feels this will benefit the Three Lions as they will not have to face one of these strong sides until the final until July 15.

He also thinks that the squad's self-belief will be extremely high after they ended their 22-year run of penalty shootout defeats, with the victory over Colombia their first ever win on spot kicks at a World Cup.

"I expect Brazil vs England in the final, because France and Belgium are on the same side of the table as Brazil and these three teams will knock out each other," Matthaus told Bild.

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"They have a young squad with a high culture of playing football, with much speed and a great striker like Harry Kane.

"Their trust in their own abilities seems to be huge. The team is worry-free and also benefits from the great coaches who work with them in the Premier League."

England take on Sweden in Samara on Saturday, July 7 at 3 p.m. BST, having beaten Tunisia and Panama in the group stage, with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Belgium coming before their 4-3 penalty shootout win over Colombia.