Who doesn’t love a shootout?
The World Cup is almost upon us, which can mean only one thing… England losing on penalties.
So, in advance of the inevitable happening, let’s work out which players are going to let the nation down this Summer.
We’ll start with those who will definitely keep their cool in Russia (touch wood), should we find ourselves 12 yards from victory.
Harry Kane – Scored 21 out of 27 penalties
You would put your house on Kane producing the goods in Russia.
Despite failing to score 6 of his 27 penalties, the Spurs man still boasts an impressive record from the spot.
One small caveat, Kane once missed a penalty in an international friendly against Turkey in 2016.
Jamie Vardy – Scored 10 out of 12 penalties
A firm believer in simply smashing it down the middle, you would back Vardy to convert in Russia.
The Foxes’ striker is in great form and confidence has never exactly been an issue for Vardy.
However, one of his unsuccessful pens was saved by Simon Mignolet, which is worrying…
Ashley Young – Scored 5 out of 8 penalties.
Maybe Southgate took into consideration Young’s penalty record when deciding to reignite his international career.
Despite the fact he is yet to take a penalty for Manchester United, Young had no hesitations with stepping up when at Aston Villa.
However, his last penalty was back in 2011, he might be a bit rusty.
Marcus Rashford – Scored 3 out of 3 penalties
Having fronted the line against Holland on Friday night, Southgate looks set to place a lot of faith in Rashford.
The United man will back himself from 12 yards considering his impressive record.
Rashford converted his most recent pen in a European Under-21 championship qualifier against Denmark in 2016- international pedigree.
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Yet to bottle it
With Kane and co getting England off to a flyer in the shootout, if need be, Southgate could choose to draft in these as the cavalry.
Danny Welbeck – Scored 2 out of 2 penalties.
As he boasts a 100% record from the spot, Welbeck could feel aggrieved that he didn’t make it as one of the ‘sure things.’
Despite this, it just wouldn’t have felt right ever classing Welbeck as a ‘sure thing.’
Dat guy scored his most recent spot kick against AC Milan in the Europa League, he totally didn’t dive to get it either.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Scored one and only penalty
The Ox has a 100% success rate from the spot.
Granted he has only taken one penalty, but still.
Little Mix’s biggest fan doesn’t know what it’s like to miss a penalty and surely he can take confidence from that.
Ryan Bertrand – Scored one and only penalty
If fit and in-form, you can make a case for Bertrand being an England starter.
More likely to be making appearances off the bench, Bertrand could prove useful in extra time as a fresh wing-back.
Southgate should take note that the Saint’s man converted his one and only penalty, against Crystal Palace in 2016.
Raheem Sterling – Scored one and only penalty
These 100% records are stacking up nicely.
The World Cup is basically in the bag already!
Sterling’s single pen came against Heurelho Gomes for Watford last year.
Dele Alli – Scored one and only penalty.
Another player with a 100% record.
Alli netted his only pen against out of favour England Keeper, Fraser Forster.
If the Spurs man can convert as many as he earns for his club, England will never lose a shootout again.
Adam Lallana – Scored one and only penalty
In the words of Tim Sherwood, Lallana’s record is second to none.
Provided Lallana can prove his form and fitness, he could well be stepping up for England in a shootout.
The Liverpool man has already scored a penalty on the international stage, firing past Pepe Reina in an international friendly against Spain in 2016.
Jordan Henderson – Scored his one and only penalty
After somehow being given the armband against Holland, Henderson is obviously a man who Southgate trusts.
Henderson scored his only career pen in 2015 against Arsenal.
He beat David Ospina, the man who could realistically face England should Colombia also make it out of their group…Omens.
Not to be trusted
Jesse Lingard – Missed one and only penalty
Despite netting against Holland, Lingard’s penalty record makes for disappointing reading.
Lingard has taken just one spot kick, and he missed it… promising signs there then.
Since that missed pen whilst on loan at Birmingham City in 2013, Lingard’s career has accelerated, maybe he could be a changed man?
James Tarkowski – Missed two of two penalties
Tarkowski’s inclusion in the latest Three Lions squad was a surprise to many- even more so after you see his pen record.
When playing for Brentford, the now Burnley defender missed two out of two penalties.
The stats strongly suggest that he should be last on the list of takers and makes you wonder why he was taking penalties anyway!
Avoid at all costs
Gareth, for everyone’s sake, please don’t let this lot step up.
Man City defensive duo John Stones and Kyle Walker are both yet to take a penalty.
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The same goes for Spurs pair Eric Dier and Kieran Tripper.
Harry Maguire is also a pen virgin and despite being tidy with the ball at his feet, he doesn’t strike me as the composed type in front of goal.
So there you have it. Start preparing your love letters/rants to these players.
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