England will be playing against Colombia in the round of 16 of the World Cup in Moscow, Russia. Gareth Southgate’s team lost their previous match against Belgium. However, they were brilliant in the two matches against Tunisia and Panama. England won against Tunisia by 2-1 and then got an emphatic victory against Panama by 6-1.
Now they are up against Colombia and there is a prospect that England will have to face a penalty shoot-out once again. So far in the round of 16, Russia eliminated the star-studded team of Spain on penalties. While the team of Croatia also won against Denmark on penalties and secured a place in the quarter-finals.
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It is a known fact that the England team have the worst record when it comes to the penalty shoot-outs. They have already been knocked out of the previous World Cups in 1990, 1998 and 2006 on penalties. In the 1990 World Cup, they were knocked out by Germany in the semi-finals, in the 1998 World Cup they were knocked out by Argentina in the round of 16 and in the 2006 World Cup, they were knocked out by Portugal in the quarterfinals. The England team have only registered one victory on penalties out of the 8 previous penalty shoot-out encounters in major competitions. This victory came in 1996 against Spain.
So, which players should come forward if the dangerous penalty situation arises again for England against Colombia? Let’s look at some of the players’ records to see who are the best fit for taking the penalty.
The one name which directly comes to mind as the best is Harry Kane. It can easily be seen why he is the best if we look at the match against Panama. He took both the penalty opportunities in that match and scored very easily. It never looked that Harry Kane is going to miss the penalty. The brilliant Tottenham striker has taken twice the number of penalties than any other player in the England squad. Out of the 26 attempted penalties, Harry Kane has scored 22 goals which convert into an incredible 85 per cent conversion rate. Therefore if the penalty situation rises again, Harry Kane would be the best fit for taking the penalties for England.
Ashley Young is the other player who could be instrumental for England if it comes to the shoot-outs. Over the last 8 years, Ashley Young has attempted seven penalties and has scored four out of those. He also knows the anguish of what it is like to miss a penalty as he was part of the team who were defeated against Italy in 2012 on penalties.
Jamie Vardy can boast of an incredible 80 per cent conversion rate. The amazing Leicester City striker has scored 12 times out of the 15 penalty opportunities. However, it is also important to note that he has missed penalties when Leicester City was playing against Liverpool, Manchester City, and Everton.
The other two options are Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Both have attempted only a single penalty. Marcus Rashford converted the penalty opportunity into a goal when he scored a hat-trick in England Under-21s’ match against Norway to win by 6-1. On the other hand, Jesse Lingard missed his only penalty opportunity against Millwall on loan at Birmingham in the year 2013. However, the talented youngster has already said that he would take a penalty if it comes to a shoot-out. Looks like, he is still full of confidence about his abilities.
Harry Maguire is another experienced player who has scored two goals out of his four attempts. Both Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling have attempted twice and scored once. The other players like Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, John Stones, Gary Cahill and Kyle Walker have converted the solitary penalty opportunities into goals.
Therefore, it looks very likely that Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Ashley Young would step up to take the penalty opportunities if such a situation arises against Colombia. Although; Gareth Southgate reportedly has picked his 5 favorite players before the match against Colombia.