England to be knocked out by penalty shootout

Odds: 5/1* *Odds may vary
£10 returns £60

This World Cup 2018: England Special goes left field and looks at the recent history of the national side and their inability to score from 12 yards.

How hard is it? The target is eight feet high, eight yards wide and just 12 yards away. Everything in your common sense screams that a professional footballer should score every time. But they don’t. As many as 30% of penalties have been missed in shootouts since their introduction to the World Cup in 1978. And do you know who is really bad at penalties? England, that’s who.

19.7% of all knockout World Cup matches since 1978 have been decided by penalty kicks. So there’s a good chance that a low-scoring England side will qualify from their group and then hit a stalemate before being dragged through the trauma of a penalty shootout.

It is very likely that England will qualify from their weak group. They are then likely to face Poland or Columbia, both have ‘draw potential’ and thus a shootout. If they manage to squeeze past them then the last eight is extremely likely to be against someone strong like Germany or Brazil, in which case Southgate will be praying for a shootout! It is hard to see England winning too many games outright after the group stages.

Why do we think England will get knocked out by penalties?

England’s senior men’s team, senior women’s team and men’s under-21s have a record of won two, lost 12 since penalties were introduced. That doesn’t bode well. England’s men did not partake in a shootout until 1990 when they famously were knocked out. Since then, they’ve been knocked out by penalties in 1998 and 2006, and the European Championships in 1996, 2004 and 2012.

No team has lost more penalty shootouts at World Cups and European Championships than England (Italy have lost the same number, but they’ve won more).

It isn’t just England’s men though…the senior women have taken part in three shootouts and lost them all. And guess what? The men’s under-21s have been involved in three, winning one and losing two. So it is in our English blood that we’re not good at taking penalties.

Not everything is against England though… European teams have won five out of 13 penalty shootouts against countries from other continents. Thank god for the Germans.

Advice to Southgate, who knows a bit about missing important penalties.  Statistically, from the opening 10 penalties, the third penalty has been missed most in World Cups. So get Kane on third!

At 5/1, it seems like a great shout to bank on England promising a lot through the group stages, having a tense draw in the knockouts and losing on pens.

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