There’s just 13 days to go until Brazil and Ladbrokes’ World Cup Countdown market gets down to the nitty gritty with ever more weird and wonderful ways to make money from the samba jamboree.
Wayne Rooney is the subject of today’s poke, with England’s striking stalwart priced up at – you guessed it – 13/1 to miss from the spot in a knockout-round penalty shootout.
Croxteth’s finest hasn’t stepped up from 12 yards since relinquishing spot-kick duties at Manchester United in January 2013, following successive penalty flops.
The 28-year-old was honest enough to admit that a record of nine misses from 28 attempts – with seven failures coming since 2010 – was impossible to defend, especially with crack finisher Robin van Persie ready and waiting to take on the responsibility at Old Trafford.
Rooney may never take a Red Devils penalty again, but few doubt that England’s top-scorer-in-waiting will be called upon by boss Roy Hodgson should his country be pitched in a five-v-five battle after 120 minutes of knockout-stage action.
On balance that looks as likely as not to happen, as England have been involved in seven shootouts over the last nine tournaments they’ve qualified for.
The Three Lions are infamously poor at penalties, with a Euro ’96 victory over Spain at Wembley the only shootout of the septet to go their way.
Hodgson’s side are 4/7 to qualify from Group D, and the 66-year-old will be blessed with a fine cadre of spot-kickers in the forms of Leighton Baines, Steven Gerrard, Rickie Lambert and Frank Lampard.
However, beyond that clinical quartet there’s not too many more in the 23-man touring party with enough experience to be trusted with such an endeavour, and Rooney’s record of 38 goals in 89 internationals means he’ll be a must to make the long walk from the halfway line.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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