As excitement for England’s round of 16 clash with Germany amplifies, Betting Expert’s ‘the Big Stage’ podcast welcomed John Barnes to the panel to assess the chances of the Three Lions. 

Barnes was joined by regular hosts Rory Jennings and Wayne Bridge, who both had renewed optimism after England’s defeat of Czech Republic thanks to a goal from Raheem Sterling. 

Former England international Barnes, however, revealed that he still doesn’t believe Southgate’s side ‘are looking secure at the back, as Scotland, who don’t really create many chances, could have scored three or four against us’. 

It comes after England cruised through the group stage without conceding a goal as Barnes admitted that if England are to go with four at the back on Tuesday night, his preference would be for them to remain unchanged with Walker, Stones, Maguire and Shaw retaining their spots. 

Bridge, who was keen to laud the performance of Bukayo Saka, emphasised his belief that if we shift to playing wing backs, the Arsenal man should come in for Shaw on the left side.

Looking ahead to how England can best prepare for a route to the final, the ex Chelsea left-back added that he’d want to keep players away from social media and eradicate them reading the things that are being spouted in the press – in order to build on the confidence that they are forming. 

Bringing a fan’s perspective, Jennings detailed his desire to see the team be a little more adventurous, highlighting Jack Grealish as a player who should have the shackles taken off. 

There was unanimous agreement amongst the panel that tournament favourites France remain the most significant threat to football coming home, with Bridge standing by his pick that England and Les Bleus will collide in a star-studded final on July 11 at Wembley.

Betting Expert: The stage is set for an England vs France final