Michael Vaughan fears England could suffer an Ashes whitewash after going 2-0 down in the series following their 120-run defeat at Adelaide.
Joe Root's side came into the final day of the second Test needing another 178 runs to win but they lost six wickets for just 64 runs.
Now they head to Perth - a traditional stronghold for Australia - knowing another defeat would see them lose the urn.
The former England captain doubts the current crop has what it takes to turn the series around.
"We have mentioned the whitewash and you have to," Vaughan told BT Sport.
"At the minute you are looking at this team, can you get 20 wickets? I would say I would doubt it. Can they get enough runs to put Australia under enough pressure to win the Test match? From the first two games I very much doubt it.
"I hate to be the gloom and doom merchant but it doesn't look good.
"You look at the scores, they have had good conditions to bat. For England to win Test matches you have to get bigger scores, individual players have to get hundreds.
"You're looking at the England side, can they get big scores? You have to say from what we have seen in the four innings that it is going to be a big problem for them."
Vaughan has questioned England's mentality and their ability to keep in games for long periods.
"It's their mentality I worry about. I want England to find it within and find that desperation from within.
"Whether that means they have to bring different personnel in is for them to decide, but they have somehow got to find that inner drive and belief of winning the key moments.
"Australia recognise the key moments and generally win them.
"I do now worry for them (England) in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney because the ball will not swing around as we have seen here.
"Over the two Tests, there has been nine and a half days and England have won one of them. You aren't going to win many Test matches playing like that."
Former batsman Geoffrey Boycott is not in any doubt where the problem lies.
"You have to bat better, you have to put runs on the board to give your bowlers chance," he said.
"I know everybody says that bowlers win matches because they have to take 20 wickets but if you don't make enough runs you're always up against it and we just don't make enough runs.
"I accept the Australian bowlers are better than England's so it's tougher but you knew that before you came and if didn't you're an idiot.
"When the chips are down, when the big moments came in Brisbane - there were two - the Aussies were better than us, the big moments come here, they are up for it and they are better than us.
"We have had half a day in 10 and that's not enough. That's why we are two down and the Ashes are nearly gone."
Boycott described spinner Moeen Ali, who has taken just two wickets compared to Nathan Lyon's 11, as England's "weak link" and Graeme Swann says there should be a question mark over his place.
"He doesn't deserve his place as a bowler and it will be a big call to bring in Mason Crane," Swann said. "He (Moeen) has to score with the bat, he has to contribute and he has not done with either (batting or bowling) in this game."