Gareth Southgate Has Picked His Favoured First Five Penalty Takers
On Tuesday night England play Colombia in by far their biggest test of the World Cup so far. Hanging over the shadow of the game is something that will scare all England fans, a penalty shoot-out. Gareth Southgate already knows who he wants to take them.
England rested most of their first team against Belgium, who in turn did the same, as they lost 1-0 to their fellow Europeans and finished second in the group. Coupled with Colombia's win against Senegal it set up a last 16 game between the two.
The last time the two sides faced in the World Cup England beat the South Americans 2-0, with David Beckham's brilliant free kick sealing the result.
Then England went on to play Argentina in the second round and lost on a penalty shoot-out, not exactly uncommon behavior amongst the English.
This time around Gareth Southgate, who famously missed a penalty in Euro 96's loss to Germany in the semi-finals, will be hoping that his side can avoid a shoot-out and win in 90 minutes.
Should that not be the case though the England boss has already got in mind who will take them. According to the Mirror, Harry Kane will go first followed by Kieran Trippier, Jordan Henderson, Jamie Vardy, and Dele Alli.
Four of those five players will likely start against Colombia, especially now that Alli is back in full fitness following the injury that kept him out of the last two games, but Vardy is unlikely to start.
That could leave Southgate with the decision whether to keep one substitute back for extra time if he thinks that the Leicester City striker isn't the right option to come on in normal time.
Kane has already had decent practice at taking penalties having slotted two away with aplomb in the group game against Panama, during the 6-1 win.
England though have lost six of seven shoot outs. They lost to Germany in 1990 and again in 96, Argentina in 98, Portugal in 2004 and 06 and Italy in 2012.
The only win on their record was against Spain in 96 in the quarters, before the loss to Germany.
Can the five men on Southgate's list change England's terrible record?