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01st Jul 2018

Gareth Southgate has picked the five players he wants to step up for penalty shootout

He also knows the order

Darragh Murphy

It wouldn’t be England at a major tournament if they didn’t have to face the drama of a penalty shootout at some point.

After successfully navigating their way through the group stages, England will now meet Colombia in the Round of 16.

With a victory over Colombia, Gareth Southgate will feel confident of his side’s chances against the winner of Switzerland and Sweden in the quarter-finals.

And Southgate has insisted that his players will be well prepared for the eventuality of a penalty shootout in any knockout game.

England have lost six of their last seven shootouts, with their Euro 1996 quarter-final victory over Spain the only success.

Prior to that win, England came up short in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals and since then, they have been eliminated in shootouts in the Euro 1996 semi-finals, in the 1998 World Cup Round of 16 game, the Euro 2004 quarter-finals, the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals and the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

Southgate missed his effort against Germany in sudden death in 1996 but he’s insisted that every possible measure has been taken to ensure that the current England side will feel confident from 12 yards if they face a shootout in Russia.

“In terms of penalties, we’ve been practising and going through strategies on them since March,” Southgate said.

“We’ve done various different studies and had individual practice.

“We’ll obviously go through that in a little more detail now, but it would have been too late to start that now, three days away from a game.

“We are aware the margins are going to be really fine in these knockout phases, and we have got to be prepared physically to go to extra-time if needed, mentally to go to extra-time – and to go beyond that, if that’s what it takes.”

A report in the Mirror has revealed the ideal order of penalty-takers in Southgate’s mind, having identified the first and fourth kicks as the most important.

The ideal order will apparently be Harry Kane up first, followed by Spurs teammate Kieran Trippier, Jordan Henderson third, Jamie Vardy fourth, presumably from the substitutes’ bench, with Dele Alli closing out the show in fifth.

Not a bad line-up, to be fair.