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England's potential Euro 2020 penalty shootout heroes - and villains

If it came down to the drama of shootout, who would you fancy to step up to the spot - Kane, Rashford… Pickford?

England face Germany on Tuesday in their Euro 2020 round-of-16 clash, with their Euro 96 penalty shooutout heartbreak still fresh in the minds...of the fans at least.

Despite the matches being 25 years apart, it's hard not to draw any comparisons, especially with both ties taking place at Wembley and Gareth Southgate again involved.

For England fans, the words 'penalty shootout' have so often translated to 'tournament exit'. However, the torrid run of shootouts in major tournaments ended in 2018 when Eric Dier's strike saw off Colombia to send England to the World Cup quarter-finals.

And, with confidence flowing through us following that shootout success, Planet Sport ranks the England team in order of who we would be most comfortable seeing make the long walk from the centre circle should it come to it on Tuesday evening.

The first five

England, Germany, Gareth Southgate, Penalty takers, Euro 2020, Kane, Rashford, Pickford

Harry Kane

Regardless of his performances so far, Harry Kane would undoubtedly be Southgate's first choice to get England off the mark against Germany.

With 44 conversions in 51 attempts in the Premier League, Kane boasts a remarkable record from the penalty spot, and has already shown he has the bottle for the big stage.

In the 2018 World Cup, Kane scored England's only goal of the game against Colombia from the spot, and then scored their first of the shootout.

Marcus Rashford

Similar to the Colombia shootout, we're backing Marcus Rashford to be the next to step up against Germany.

With 15/17 of his penalties hitting the back of the net, Rashford has shown that he can be trusted from the spot. His only two misses came following saves by Crystal Palace's Vicente Guaita and Norwich's Tim Krul in the 2019/20 season.

He boasts recent success from the spot, too, having scored the penalty that beat Romania in England's pre-Euro friendly.

Kieran Trippier

Despite never scoring a penalty in club soccer, Trippier is a renowned dead-ball specialist and has proved he can perform in the big games when needed - it's barely mentioned but he scored against Croatia once.

There's no doubt that Trippier will step up to take a penalty if needed. However, with Reece James and Kyle Walker providing competition for the right-back spot, and Luke Shaw slowly consolidating the left-back position, the only issue is whether Trippier will be on the pitch to take one.

Jordan Pickford

According to TransfermaktPickford has saved 11 of the 46 penalties he has faced in his career, a rather impressive record for any goalkeeper.

Pickford has also been successful between the sticks for England, notably saving Carlos Bacca's penalty in the shootout against Colombia in 2018.

But it seems that Gareth Southgate may not limit Pickford to just saving the strikes, but might also select him to take one.

The Everton goalkeeper is known for his pinpoint distribution during matches, and even converted from the spot against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League - it sounds crazy, but it just might be a masterstroke from Southgate and his team.

Declan Rice

As England's strongest and most consistent midfielder, it's likely that Rice will still be on the pitch if the tie goes to a shootout.

His current success rate for West Ham is 50% - scoring one against Sheffield United, while missing recently against West Brom.

Rolling the dice is the last thing Southgate will want to do in a penalty shootout situation, but we would be happy to see Rice step up for England. Just as long as he doesn't knock it sideways.

Sudden-death time

Sterling, Grealish, Foden, Euro 2020, England, Germany

Raheem Sterling

Coming into the tournament, many doubted Sterling's chances of even starting a game. But in the group stage, he has provided England with their only two goals so far against Czech Republic and Croatia.

In such hot form, you'd expect Sterling to be one of the first chosen to take a penalty by Southgate, but the Manchester City winger hasn't had much success from the spot, only scoring two of his five attempts according to Transfermarkt.

Jack Grealish

This may be baffling, but Jack Grealish has never scored a penalty for club or country.

The Aston Villa midfielder regularly shines for his club, and more recently for England too, but his only effort from the spot rebounded off the crossbar in Villa's relegation scrap with Sheffield United in 2019.

However, despite a big, fat zero in his penalty column, Grealish has shown he has the ability to compete among the world's best. And, given the chance to take a penalty for England, we don't think he'd make the same mistake twice.

Phil Foden

In Euro 96, Paul Gascoigne stepped up to take England's fourth penalty of the shootout, and converted it in style.

If Foden is to do the same, he'll have to score his first ever penalty in professional soccer.

Ahead of the tie, Foden has discussed his preparation if he is called upon for a spot-kick.

"People say it's luck but I don't believe in that. If you practice your penalty and know where you're putting it before you can get an advantage going into it."
Whether or not he'll be handed a start is unknown, but by the sounds of it, Foden is ready to step up to the spot against Germany.

John Stones

John Stones. Penalty. Panenka. Three words that you probably weren't expecting to read today.

But yes, the Manchester City defender really did pull off a panenka penalty back in 2013 when his Everton side faced Juventus in a pre-season friendly.

All we ask is for him to have the same confidence if he steps up to the spot on Tuesday evening.

Stay well clear

Henderson, Shaw, Maguire, England, Germany, Euro 2020

Jordan Henderson

A Champions League and Premier League winner, but when it comes to the penalty spot, Henderson looks a completely different player.

After missing England's third penalty in the 2018 World Cup shootout against Colombia, it looked like a case of deja vu for England fans, but his fellow Sunderland-born compatriot, Jordan Pickford, managed to spare his blushes.

Henderson had a chance to prove his ability from the spot when he controversially took the penalty off Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin in England's pre-Euro friendly against Romania, but the Liverpool captain had his effort saved again.

All we can hope is that the shootout is decided long before Henderson's name gets near the top of the list.

Luke Shaw

Shaw managed to convert his penalty in Manchester United's excruciating shootout against Villareal in the Europa League, but his penalty was lucky to make it past Geronimo Rulli and Shaw knew it.

A huge sigh of relief followed his strike and we think he'd be happy to sit it out against Germany. We certainly would be. 

Harry Maguire

Maguire strikes the ball like an old-fashioned centre-half. If it goes right, it cannons into the back of the net, but if it goes wrong, it'll end up in another postcode. You stick to keeping balls out of the net, Harry. Leave the penalty taking to Pickford.

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