Roy Hodgson’s team could set an unwanted new record if they go out of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil on penalties and you would be wise to back them to do exactly that.
At present the Three Lions hold the joint worst record for losing in penalty shootouts at the tournament, with their 2006 failure against Portugal putting them level with the previous holder of the less-than-prestigious honour, Italy.
But after seeing the two national sides go head-to-head from the spot at Euro 2012, the odds of 6/1 on England exiting the World Cup on penalties looks too good to ignore.
While Italy have actually improved their record at taking penalties over the years, for the Three Lions, a shootout victory continues to elude them.
World Cups have proven particularly problematic for the national side, who have now lost each of their previous three spot-kick contests by the finest of margins in 1990, 1998 and 2006.
Their last success on penalties actually came against Spain on home soil in the 1996 European Championships, but since that match the Three Lions have exited five of their last eight major international tournaments by this most cruel of methods.
And there’s every reason to think a repeat could be on the cards next summer, with Hodgson previously overseeing the England team that exited the last Euros in Poland and Ukraine on penalties after appearing to play for spot-kicks against the Italians.
The manager’s penchant for draws could also make penalties likely, with the former Fulham man overseeing four draws in England’s ten qualifiers for the 2014 tournament.
Three out of these four draws came away from Wembley and with England likely to find it tough going in the hot climate of Brazil, don’t be surprised to see Rooney & co. involved in a few more unwanted stalemates.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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