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World Cup Countdown: England at risk of penalty exit

| 14.05.2014

It’s less than a month until the first ball is kicked at the World Cup in Brazil and to celebrate the countdown of days before the action starts, Ladbrokes will be offering special prices on outcomes at the tournament.

With 28 days to go before Croatia try to spoil Brazil’s party in the opener, you can get 28/1 that England exit the tournament via sudden death in a penalty shootout.

Considering the country’s woeful record in the most heartbreaking tie-breaker, it’s well worth considering having a punt on sudden-death penalties being the method of departure.

The Three Lions have never won a World Cup shootout despite having three cracks at it in their history. On each occasion two or more players have fluffed their lines with the game on the line.

Add European Championships into the mix and England can only boast one win on penalties from the seven shootouts they’ve contested in their history.

Perhaps the 2014 touring party have reason to instil optimism in the fans this time. Leighton Baines, Rickie Lambert, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are all the regular takers for their respective club sides.

Baines and Lambert have particularly encouraging penalty records and with Lampard and Gerrard two of the more experienced members of the squad, who’ve also suffered the heartache of an England miss, then it’s reasonable to suggest that Roy Hodgson’s side could take a shootout to sudden death at the least.

But beyond those four, and perhaps occasional-taker Wayne Rooney, not many of the squad would have felt the pressure of stepping up for a spot kick in a big club game, let alone for their country with World Cup progression on the line.

With so much made of the squad’s youthful makeup, it could actually work to their detriment should a shootout go to sudden death, making this one special offer that should certainly be snapped up.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.