Sport | 6 days ago
Gareth Southgate says England could face penalty shootout BEFORE next summer
A good idea?

England sealed their place at next summer's World Cup a month ago, but thoughts are already turning to their preparations for Russia.

Their last two major tournament appearances have seen them on the plane home before the quarter finals, but Gareth Southgate is already thinking about how his side might negotiate the knock-out stages of the World Cup, should they make it that far.

One of the hurdles they may have to overcome will be a penalty shoot-out - something which, historically, doesn't tend to work out too well for the Three Lions. With this in mind, Southgate said ahead of the friendly with Brazil that he was considering giving his players the opportunity to practise spot-kicks in a pressurised environment, in a bid to mimic the conditions they might face next summer.

Although the England boss made clear that this was something he had yet to fully think through, interestingly, he hinted that this could be done following one of the games England play from now to the World Cup finals.

"It's something that we are considering how we prepare best for penalty shoot-outs," he said.

"Whether that's something on the training ground; whether that's in sessions we do away from the training ground, or something we do in some sort of match scenario...

"We've not finalised that yet but clearly that [a match situation] is an option."

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England take on Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday night, though Southgate did make clear that those attending would not be seeing any penalty shoot-outs on this occasion.

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England, Gareth Southgate, 2018 World Cup